TEENAGER Jonnie Peacock wrote himself into the Paralympic history books last night (Thursday) by winning the showpiece event, the 100m, and breaking the Games record.
He beat his South African hero Oscar Pistorius, the “Blade Runner”, in the most eagerly-awaited event of the London Games and led from the front to land the gold medal in a new Paralympic best time of 10.90 seconds in the T44 100m final.
World record holder Peacock, a below-knee amputee who grew up in Doddington and is currently a Cambridge student, had already become one of the faces of the Games by featuring heavily in broadcaster Channel 4’s promotional coverage as a BT Ambassador.
He confirmed his superstar status by signalling the feverish crowd for silence, before winning the “Battle of the Blades” in the packed Olympic Stadium witnessed by 80,000 people.
The 19-year-old said after his golden sprint: “It was absolutely surreal. I knew the crowd would be intense. In this race I nailed it.
“I’ve been running very quick in training. I just had to remind myself: deep breaths, head down.
“After about 60 metres I thought: ‘Oh crap, I’m in the lead’. These Games are definitely a legacy.”
Pistorius – edged out of the medals – was the first to congratulate Peacock, adding: “He is still young and has got a great future ahead of him.”
London Olympic 2012 gold medal winner Mo Farah on Twitter said of Peacock’s achievement: “Awesome, well done son.”
Podium places: Gold Jonnie Peacock (GB), silver Richard Browne (USA), bronze Arnu Fourie (RSA).
More on this story in next week’s Fenland Citizen.