‘Blade runner’ breaks 200m world record at Paralympics

Pistorius earlier this month became the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics.

Afp September 05, 2012

LONDON: Oscar Pistorius began the defence of his three sprint titles with a bang, breaking the world record in the T44 200m, as Irish runner Jason Smyth became the fastest Paralympian in history over 100m.

Pistorius, who earlier this month became the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics, stormed to victory in his heat at the Olympic Stadium in east London, clocking a new best of 21.30 seconds. The 25-year-old said he was happy with the time – and the reception from the 80,000-strong crowd – but again played down expectations that he would complete the sprint clean-sweep.

“I’ve done a world record tonight, but the 100m isn’t really my event,” said Pistorious. “To run in front of such an amazing stadium is mind-blowing.”

Meanwhile, Irish sprinter Smyth gave a stunning performance in the T13 100m, streaking to victory in 10.46 seconds, breaking the previous world best of 10.54 seconds that he set in qualifying on Friday night.

The 25-year-old, who is visually impaired, trains with US sprint star Tyson Gay in Florida and has said it is possible to have a Paralympian run under 10sec in the straight sprint.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian athlete who was stripped of her F35/36 discus gold after a computer error will be allowed to keep her medal but will also be awarded silver, according to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Mariaa Pomazan had won the first athletics gold of the Games ahead of two Chinese athletes – Wu Qing and Bao Jiongyu – only to see London 2012 organisers, LOCOG, announce later that the wrong medals were awarded. The amended result saw Pomazan and Wu swap places, with Bao relegated to fourth and replaced by Australia’s Katherine Proudfoot in the bronze position.

Pakistan’s Haider finishes last

There was disappointment for Pakistan as Haider Ali finished last among nine athletes in the T38 100m. Haider clocked a poor 15.89 seconds. Evan O’Hanlon won the gold at 10.79 seconds, followed by Dyan Buis and Wenjun Zhuo.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2012.


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