Pistorius victorious as Games draw to an end
At the very end of a groundbreaking dual-games summer, Oscar Pistorius was victorious at last in an individual sprint in London. Caught for dopingother Updated: Sep 10, 2012 01:40 IST
At the very end of a groundbreaking dual-games summer, Oscar Pistorius was victorious at last in an individual sprint in London.
Just before the athletics facilities were dismantled in the Olympic Stadium on Saturday night, the man dubbed the "Blade Runner" tore around the track to easily defend his 400 meters Paralympic title.
"It was very, very special for me, it was the last event of my season, it was the last event of the London 2012 Games," he said after winning in a Paralympic record of 46.68 seconds.
"It was my 11th time I was able to come out on the track and I just wanted to end and give the crowd something they would appreciate and take home with them."
It was a victory of redemption and relief.
The icon of the Paralympic movement captivated the world at the start of last month when he became the first amputee sprinter to compete alongside able-bodied rivals at the Olympics.
The South African's appearance reaching the finals of the 4x400 relay and semifinal in the 400 sprint succeeded in breaking new ground, but the script hadn't gone to plan at the Paralympics until the final day of track and field action.
The 100 and 200 titles were lost earlier this week in a blaze of fury as he became embroiled in public row with the new 200-meter champion Alan Oliviera, who he accused of unfairly using lengthened blades.
After the apologies earlier in the week, Pistorius let his running to the talking, anchoring South Africa to victory in the 4X100 relay on Wednesday and collecting individual gold on Saturday.
Despite receiving physiotherapy until 2 am before the race, Pistorius won his preferred 400 event more than 3 seconds ahead of American sprinters Blake Leeper and David Prince, who completed the podium.
It was the final day of full competition for a Paralympics that returned to its roots in London and staged the biggest games yet.
The genesis of the Paralympics was a doctor's determination to use sport in the rehabilitation of injured World War II servicemen, and on Saturday the gold medal in wheelchair tennis quad singles went to Israeli war survivor Noam Gershony.
During the 2006 war with Hezbolla, Gershony was left paralyzed in a helicopter crash from which he was the only survivor. He beat David Wagner of the United States 6-3, 6-1 to win Israel's first gold in either the Olympics or Paralympics this summer.
The men's blind 5-a-side football title went to Brazil for the third successive games by beating France 2-0.
The next games are in Brazil, and the Rio organizers will mark the handover with an eight-minute segment in the closing ceremony on Sunday.
The headline act, though, is British rock group Coldplay, who will perform a string of hits and collaborations expected with Jay-Z and Rihanna.