Singleton Takes 100m Gold in 100m Epic with Pistorius26.01.2011
American sprinter Jerome Singleton has defeated his South African rival Oscar Pistorius in a stunning photo finish to secure gold in the much anticipated Men’s 100m T44 at the IPC Athletics World Championships, in Christchurch New Zealand.
After much hype in the week leading up to the race it did not disappoint with all seven finishers clocking under 12 seconds for the first time ever in a T44 race. Just 0.09 seconds separated the first and fourth place finishers.
A tense atmosphere was compounded further after a false start saw the disqualification of American Jim Bob Bizzell.
Light rain and a silent crowd before the second start raised tension levels further and, as with two years ago in Beijing, it was Singleton who made the better start.
In a carbon copy of the race from the last Paralympic Games, which Pistorius won by 0.03 seconds, Singleton held a lead after 50m.
‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius then staged one of his trademark comebacks to draw level with Singleton on the line.
However, unlike in Beijing where Pistorius edged ahead with metres to go to take Paralympic gold, Singleton fell over the line together with Pistorius, neck and neck in a photo finish.
After what seemed like an age with athletes unsure of who had taken the medals, the scoreboard indicated that both athletes had set the same time of 11.33 seconds, but it was Singleton who was ranked first to take Pistorius’s World title.
It is the first time Pistorius has been beaten over 100m in a major competition since the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.
What will go down as possibly the most memorable Paralympic race ever was not just a two horse race though with Brazilian Alan Fonteles Cardoso Oliveira and South African Aru Fourie pushing Singleton and Pistorius all the way in a blanket finish.
As with the top two, a photo finish was required to separate third and fourth places with both athletes clocking 11.43 seconds. In the end though the Brazilian was adjudged to have taken bronze with the South African fourth.
1. Jerome Singleton USA 11.34 SB
2. Oscar Pistorius RSA 11.34
3. Alan Oliverira BRA 11.43
3. Arn Fourie RSA 11.43
5. Blake Leeper USA 11.57 SB
6. Jonathan Peacock GBR 11.89
7. David Behre GER 11.96
Jim Bob Bizzell USA DQ