SAN DIEGO, September 2, 2012 – The world’s best known Paralympic athlete, South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, added to his achievements by breaking the Paralympic world record for 200 meters Saturday at the Paralympic Games. And he wasn’t even running in the final.
The athlete nicknamed “Blade Runner” for his carbon fiber prosthetic legs, Pistorius smashed the record by more than a second at 21.30 seconds, and he was two seconds faster than the next closest competitor in his heat. Still, Pistorius will face serious competition in the final on Sunday from American Blake Leeper and Brazilian Fonteles Cardoso Oliveira.
Pistorius is aiming for a clean sweep of four gold medals in the 100, 200, and 400 meters, and 4X100 meter relay.
Pistorius was one of several world record setters. To the delight of the home crowd, Ireland’s Jason Smyth broke the record in the men’s 100 meter T13 (for athletes with cerebral palsy and neurological issues) with a time of 10.46 seconds. Smyth calls himself the “World’s Fastest Olympian.” Smyth trains in Florida with Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay. Ireland’s Michael McKillop also set a world record winning gold in the 800 meter T37 in a time of 1:57.22. Australia’s Evan O’Hanlon set his own 100-meter record in the T38 class, winning in 10.79 seconds.
Team GB had a great day in cycling, with Sara Storey winning her second gold medal. Hours later, her husband Barney Storey clocked a world record as the pilot for tandem teammate Neil Fachie in the men’s 1K time trial.
Chinese athletes won eight gold medals Saturday in swimming, judo, track cycling and track and field, and 22 total. China has 56 medals overall; Australia is second with 11 golds among its 29 medals. Britain won five golds Saturday. The U.S. has six gold medals.
Three of those gold medals belong to swimmer Jessica Long, who won her third in three events, this time for the 100-meter breaststroke. She finished six seconds ahead of her closest competitor. Long now has 10 career gold medals after winning three in Athens in 2004 and four more in Beijing. With six more events, she could have nine gold medals in London and 16 gold medals overall. And she is still just 20 years old.
See live and on-demand coverage of all Paralympic sports on the excellent Paralympics TV YouTube website. http://www.youtube.com/user/ParalympicSportTV along with summary reports aired daily, available on demand as they are produced.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She writes on professional cycling and covers the Sweet Science for Communities, along with other news in the sports world. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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