24 July 2013Jonnie Peacock shrugs off rival Richard Browne to win the T44 100m at the Paralympic World Championship
The Paralympic champion felt he had a point to prove after the American set a world record of 10.83sec for the T44 100 metres on Monday, shaving two one-hundredths of a second off Peacock’s record set 12 months ago at the London Games.
Browne had boasted that he could triumph again and upped the ante throughout the afternoon on his Twitter account, equating his rivalry with Peacock to that of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, adding that he would deliver a knockout blow.
On the starting blocks, Browne danced around before putting his finger to his lips, aping the gesture Peacock had made in front of 80,000 spectators in the Olympic Stadium last summer before his gold medal triumph. But Peacock took the taunts in his stride in the Stade du Rhone and crossed the line first. The only disappointment was his finishing time of 10.99sec.
“I feel like the luckiest man alive, I shouldn’t have won like that,” said Peacock, who was still two one-hundredths of a second faster than Browne. “I went through my processes, and luckily it got me over the line first. Whatever happens in the rounds, you’ve just got to go out and win in the final. I just didn’t do it today, but I’m good at digging myself out of holes.”
The two men go head to head again in the Olympic Stadium on Sunday at the Anniversary Games. “We’ll have to see if I can break the world record, we’ll just have to see,” said 20-year-old Peacock.
Browne cannot wait for a shot at revenge. “We had a great start together, but he got me, and congratulations to him,” the American said. “It was a great race. Great for the sport, great for the Paralympics. I can’t be upset. I got a silver medal, but I'm looking forward to competing again on Sunday in London.”
In the preceding race, the Brazilian Alan Oliveira broke Oscar Pistorius’s world championship record for double amputees in the T43 100m in a time of 10.8sec.
Earlier, Welsh star Aled Davies won his second gold, adding the world F42 discus title to the shot put crown he won earlier in the week. Undaunted by a disappointing start to the competition, the 22-year-old threw a massive 47.62m.
“It wasn’t bad to come away with the second-longest throw of my career in the last round,” Davies said. “I want to be the one pushing the barriers – the world record is 47.85 and I’m just a fingertip away from that. It would have been nice to do it here but a win is a win – I can’t complain.”
Double amputee Richard Whitehead, the defending Paralympic champion, had that familiar slow start in the 200m, when he has to rotate his shoulders and hips to create momentum and rhythm, but powered through over the final 100m to retain his No 1 standing. He then revealed an injury had almost kept him out of the championships.
“I have had a quad injury, after I snapped my left running blade and went over on it last week," he said. "It was in doubt whether I would run or not.
"The medical team worked hard night and day to put me into this position. I would like to thank and the team for believing in me. The power of sport is not winning or losing it’s about putting on a spectacle like today. Now it’s on to London.”
Overall, Great Britain has nine gold medals and are third in the medal table behind the United States in second and leaders Russia.