Jonnie Peacock caps a glorious two years with Paralympic gold
In running the fastest T44 100m time in Paralympic Games history on Thursday, Britain's Jonnie Peacock cemented his status as the fastest amputee sprinter in the world.
The 19-year-old was already the world record holder over the distance, having lowered a five-year-old mark to 10.85 seconds in June.
Peacock ran a Paralympic record of 11.08 seconds to qualify quickest for the final, which also featured reigning Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius of South Africa and Brazil's Alan Oliveira, who won the 200m title earlier this week.
But on Thursday evening he ran a new Paralympic record of 10.90secs to further enhance his growing reputation.
It was a performance that had Pistorius purring. The original "Blade Runner" is Peacock's idol. But after witnessing the young Englishman destroy the rest of the field with an explosive display of sprinting, the 25-year-old South African was glowing in his praise.
"We just witnessed one of the great performances from Jonnie," Pistorius said. "He stepped up to the plate. We witnessed one of the great Paralympic performances."
- Born: 28, May 1993
- 1998: Has right leg amputated
- 2008: Attends Paralympic talent identification event
- 2010: Fifth in first Paralympic World Cup race
- 2011: Breaks T44 100m European record
- 2012: Lowers T44 100m world record to 10.85 seconds
Peacock had his right leg amputated below the knee after contracting meningitis as a five-year-old.
However, he was determined not to let his disability affect him, competing in and winning a 100m hopping race in his first school sports day after his operation.
A meeting with his footballing hero David Beckham further inspired Peacock to pursue a career in sport and in 2008 he attended a talent identification event in east London, attempting disciplines as diverse as wheelchair tennis, pistol shooting and 60m sprinting.
He was called up for both the tennis and sprinting squads before choosing the latter.
Peacock, from Cambridge, shot to prominence in 2010 when, as a 16-year-old, he recorded a personal best of 12.23 seconds in his first Paralympic World Cup race in Manchester.
Peacock was drawn to run in the lane next to Pistorius and, although the South African beat him by almost a second, the Briton said it had been "an honour" to race against him.
Within 18 months he had lowered his personal best to 11.47 seconds, breaking the European record and halving the gap between himself and Pistorius.
In May this year he recorded a time of 11.32 seconds at the Paralympic World Cup, before going on to break 2004 Paralympic champion Marlon Shirley's world record - running as a guest at June's US Paralympic track and field trials.
On Thursday he created one of the moments - if not the moment - of the Games, turning the tables on Pistorius and crowning his glorious rise with Paralympic gold.