2012 Paralympics: Thousands at Games finale weekend

Oscar Pistorius
Image caption Pistorius, nicknamed the Blade Runner, won gold in the 400m title

London's Olympic Park is playing host to hundreds of thousands of people on the final weekend of the Paralympics.

On the penultimate day of competition, Oscar Pistorius won gold in his 400m title as the Stadium hosted 2012 action for the last time.

Crowds at the Olympic Park today basked in temperatures of up to 27C ahead of Sunday's closing ceremony.

As competition started on Saturday the host nation was sitting second in the overall table with 114 medals.

Cyclist David Stone added to the tally in the morning session, successfully defending his Paralympic mixed T1-2 road race title at Brands Hatch.

Swimmer Ellie Simmonds won silver in S6 100m freestyle event, failing to retain her crown.

The 17-year-old set a new personal best of 1:14.82, but was beaten by the USA's Victoria Arlen.

Simmonds finished the Games with two gold medals, a silver and a bronze.

Great Britain surpassed their 103-medal target for the 2012 Paralympics in emphatic style on Thursday as Hannah Cockroft, David Weir and Jonnie Peacock picked up medals.

Victorious team

Hopes are high that Weir will bring home his fourth gold medal when he competes in the London wheelchair marathon on Sunday.

Weir, 33, known as The Weirwolf of London, has already won the 800m, 1500m and 5,000m.

Competitors in the men's and women's marathons will start and finish in The Mall, completing one short and three long loops during the 26.2-mile race through central London.

Once the sport has concluded, the closing ceremony will bring the curtain down on what has been one of the most successful Paralympics in the event's history.

Organisers have sold some 2.7 million Paralympic tickets - beating targets by 200,000 and predicted sales by £10m.

Stars due to perform at Sunday's sold-out ceremony include Jay-Z and Rihanna and hundreds of performers in bandstands across the UK are expected to join in a rendition of Coldplay's Viva La Vida.

The live broadcast of the ceremony is due to start at 20:30 BST and organisers hope it will finish by 23:00 BST.

Speaking at a press briefing on Saturday the show's director Kim Gavin promised a festival of the flame.

He said: "We are known as a nation for having the most festivals.

"The festival approach is purely to celebrate the last night of the Games, and we will pay tribute to all the human spirit and achievement of the last two weeks."

He said the athletes would be on the field of play when the show starts and added: "Through Coldplay's music we are going to take you through the seasons from autumn to summer".

He said there would also be a tribute to Help for Heroes and that the Union Jack would be revealed for the national anthem in a "special way".

"I wanted this ceremony to feel less spangly and more raw," he said.

"It's more about the people and their performances."

British stars of the Olympics and Paralympics will then celebrate their success during a victory parade through the streets of London on Monday.

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