Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Peacock claims gold in sprint final

Great Britain's Jonnie Peacock celebrates with his gold medal in the men's 100m T44 final
Josef Craig punches the air in celebration after becoming Britain's youngest Paralympic gold medal winner
Great Britain's Sarah Storey celebrates after winning the women's individual C 4-5 Road Race at Brands Hatch, Kent

Jonnie Peacock has been elevated to Paralympic superstar as he powered to gold in a packed roaring stadium to win the biggest race in the games' history.

The 19-year-old left the field trailing as he flew over the line in the 100m final after the crowd roared his name. South African Oscar Pistorius, who finished fourth, was the first to congratulate the teenager, who set a Paralympic record with the win.

After the race, Peacock, who contracted meningitis aged five, which led to his right leg being amputated below the knee, hailed the "surreal" experience.

The teenager, from Cambridge, said: "This Games is definitely a legacy and to be part of that is amazing. I knew this crowd was going to be intense. Dave Weir going minutes before - I knew he'd win, and I knew the crowd would be on a high."

His incredible win capped a golden night in the Olympic Stadium on 'Thriller Thursday', as David Weir snatched his third gold of the games. The 33-year-old - known as The Weirwolf of London - won the 800m gold in a sensational race in which the crowd again played their part.

Hurricane Hannah Cockroft ensured it was a truly memorable night in the stadium as she set a blistering pace to win the 200m race. The 20-year-old, from Halifax, won her second gold medal, saying: "It's been amazing, a dream come true. This is what I worked for four years for and I've actually done it now. I've got nothing to do now with my life, just work for Rio (in 2016) now and hopefully do it again."

Cyclist Sarah Storey cemented herself in the Paralympic hall of fame by equalling Tanni Grey-Thomson's haul of 11 gold medals. She won her fourth gold of London 2012 in a sensational road race at Brand's Hatch.

The swimmer turned-cyclist, 34, now joins Baroness Grey-Thompson on 11 gold medals to become one of the most decorated British Paralympians in history, alongside swimmer Dave Roberts.

Schoolboy swimming sensation Josef Craig, 15, smashed the world record to became Britain's youngest Paralympic gold medal winner - before declaring: "It's the happiest day of my life." Craig, who has cerebral palsy, broke the world record he set in his heat by comfortably winning the 400m final. Helena Lucas also made history, by winning Britain's first ever Paralympic gold in the 2.4mR class.

The dramatic night means ParalympicsGB has now surpassed the 103 medal target set before the games - with three days still to go. Great Britain currently sit second in the medals table - with 108 medals, including 31 gold, 39 silver and 38 bronze.

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