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"Blade runner" anchors South Africa to 4x100m relay gold at Paralympics

09-06-2012 10:06 BJT Special Report:2012 Paralympic Games |

LONDON, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Oscar Pistorius clinched his first gold medal of the London Paralympic Games when he anchored South Africa to victory in the T42/T46 men's 4x100 meters relay in world record 41.78 seconds on Wednesday.

Samkelo Radebe, Zivan Smith and Arnu Fourie combined over the first three legs to give Pistorius a fractional advantage over Brazil but lined up three lanes inside him was Alan Oliveira, who had sensationally beaten the defending champion to the individual T44 200m title on Sunday.

However, this time there was to be no upset as Pistorius powered down the home straight while Oliveira failed to reproduce the stunning late surge that took him past his South African rival in the final meters three days ago, which prompted Pistorius's now infamous comments about the legality of Brazilian's running blades.

Brazil were disqualified after the race had been concluded for a baton-passing violation, leaving China to take the silver medals in an Asian record 42.98.

"It's the most amazing experience for all of us. We've been practising over the last two days. We're all professional and have a job to do," said Pistorius.

Recalling the bitter defeat on Sunday, the poster man of Paralympics said: "I have a responsibility. It was very tough, as it was my first defeat in nine years. I made a mistake and I'm dealing with that."

Pistorius said he had chosen a wrong time to question the blades of opponents and the rules.

"It isn't just my opinion. I just think it was distasteful to say it at the time. I've had some time to reflect, and I think everyone makes mistakes. I've obviously had to deal with the backlash of that. It was a bad time for me to bring up that topic. I was very frustrated," he said.

The 26-year-old eased through to the 100m final after clinching top place in his group heats two hours before the relay tonight.

"Jonnie Peacock is just a phenomenal athlete. I've no doubt that it's going to be a very stiff race tomorrow. The 100m isn't my event so if I can finish in the top three I'll be very blessed," he said.

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Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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