South African double amputee Oscar Pistorius stormed back after a disastrous start to finish first in 11.17secs in the Paralympic's 100m final. The sprinter is bidding for three gold medals in Beijing's "Bird's nest" stadium.
"Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius kept his Paralympic triple sprint dream alive Tuesday, winning the 100m on the line in a dramatic race at a packed "Bird's Nest" National Stadium.
The South African was slow out of the blocks and trailed badly a third into the race, but picked up steam and finished first in 11.17secs, edging out America's Jerome Singleton by 0.03secs.
Brian Frasure of the United States took the bronze but the much-anticipated showdown with Marlon Shirley failed to materialise after the American collapsed two-thirds into the race.
"It's unbelievable. The 100 metres was something I was definitely a bit worried about," said Pistorius, adding that he had had to fight hard after his slow start on the wet track.
"After the first 30 metres I thought, 'well, the first 30 is done, it's behind me, I've messed it up and now I can focus on the rest of the race,'" he said.
"I picked up the pace and was able to get in there at the end... It's a dream come true," said Pistorius, who now focuses on the 200m and 400m.
Singleton said: "I thought I'd won but he came out of nowhere. He's a great athlete."
When asked if he would better Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt's two individual golds at last month's Olympics, Pistorius said: "I didn't run in the style that he did tonight but I'm hoping that in the next two races that I'm able to get another two golds, and after tonight I'm a lot more confident."
The 21-year-old is the world record holder in his category in all three events.
Nicknamed after the carbon fibre blades he wears, Pistorius won a court battle to compete at the Olympics after proving himself a strong competitor in able-bodied competition.
He eventually failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics, blaming in part the distraction of his court battle, but he is targeting the London 2012 Games. Among his best achievements against able-bodied athletes was a second in the 400m event at the 2007 South African national championships.
Date created : 2008-09-09