LONDON (Reuters) - There was more disappointment at the Paralympics for South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius after he was left trailing in the wake of Britain’s Jonnie Peacock in the men’s 100m final on Thursday.
Pistorius, who courted controversy last week when he complained that his opponent’s blades were too long after losing in the 200m final, could only finish fourth behind Peacock, American Richard Browne and South Africa’s Arnu Fourie.
Peacock stormed out of the blocks and finished five hundredths of a second outside the world record in a time of 10.90.
It was the first time in the Paralympics that anyone had run under 11 seconds.
“I didn’t think it was quite going to be that crazy,” Peacock told Britain’s Channel Four.
”I was thinking who is going to get the biggest cheer Oscar or me. This time I actually knew I could push. My drive phase was probably the best it has ever been in the race. It was crazy.
“I should have run quicker than that. I should be going about 3/10ths faster than that. I got up to 60-70 metres and I thought I can win this.”
Pistorius came into the event as defending champion, just as he did in the 200m on Sunday when he prompted controversy by complaining about the length of winner Alan Oliveira’s prosthetic blades.
Moments after that loss, his first in the 200m in nine years, he used a post-race interview to question the legitimacy of his defeat.
Pistorius, dubbed the “Blade Runner”, suggested that his opponent’s prosthetics were too long which had artificially lengthened his stride, giving him an unfair advantage.
Pistorius apologised for the timing of his comments in a statement on Monday, but maintained there was still a fundamental issue about the length of athletes’ prosthetics that needed to be addressed.
On Thursday, Pistorius was placed in a lane next to Oliveira, heightening the tension at the start of the race, which endured two faulty starts before finally getting underway.
This time Pistorius was gracious in defeat.
“What we have seen tonight is a great Paralympic sprinter - it was a great performance,” Pistorius said.
”The 100m is not my thing and it shows how much the sport has grown.
“I am unbelievably happy. Jonnie drew so much from the crowd. Well done to him and in front of a front home crowd. I‘m sure this will be one of the memories of his life.”
Pistorius, who also competed in the London Olympics last month, still has the chance to defend his 400m Paralympic title which gets underway on Friday.
(Reporting by Toby Davis; Editing by Ken Ferris and Pritha Sarkar)
This story has been refiled to fix the spelling of gracious in the headline and the 13th paragraph