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Jonnie Peacock MBE

Double Paralympic T44 100m Champion


21 June 2013Forget Pistorius... our sport is bigger than him, says Paralympic champion Peacock

South African Pistorius was the icon of disability sport for years due to his success on the track and crossover appeal, but is currently facing charges of murdering his girlfriend and is well away from the track.

Britain's Peacock, who beat Pistorius in the 100 metres final in London to win Paralympic gold, believes the unprecedented success of last summer's Games shows the sport goes far beyond just one man.

He told Press Association: 'I think what London 2012 did for the Paralympics more than anything else was give us so many more faces.

'We've got so many more faces to come into it now and hopefully it's going to be a great chance to race the Brazilian, Alan Oliveira, and the American Richard Browne.

'So I think what we've lost in one (Pistorius), we've gained in five or six others. London 2012 did so much for Paralympic sport and it's progressed in a way I would never have thought.'

Peacock, who competes at the Sainsbury's IPC Grand Prix Final in Birmingham later this month, added: 'Before, people could probably only name one person. Now you've got the likes of David Weir, Hannah Cockroft, Alan Oliveira and more. There are lots more names now. It's fantastic.'

Oliveira recently bettered Peacock's world record for the 100m - although the single amputee Briton still holds the record in his class, with Oliveira being a double amputee.

But both classes race together and Peacock is excited at the prospect of going head to head with his South American rival at next month's IPC World Championships in Lyon.

'Alan's time definitely spices things up,' he said. 'It makes things really interesting and it's going to be fun. That's the way I'm looking at it. It's going to be a great race.'

'It's given me a lot more motivation and fire in my belly. I turned up to training the next day and trained with about 10 times more commitment. Not that I don't train with commitment anyway, it just gives you that bit more of an edge and it's made me more hungry.

'I'm a fan of single and double amputees racing together, to be honest. It adds depth to the competition and obviously any athlete loves competition. It gives you more people to race against and I definitely enjoy it.'