Athletics: Gold medal winner Jonnie Peacock reveals psychic's prediction and prayer from Oscar Pistorius


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The Independent Online

Jonnie Peacock dashed to Paralympic gold following a psychic's prediction and a prayer from Oscar Pistorius. 

The 19-year-old from Cambridge last night handled the expectation and chants of 'Peacock, Peacock' reverberating around the Olympic Stadium to win T44 100metres gold in 10.90 seconds in one of the most anticipated events of the London 2012 Games.

After strutting his stuff, Peacock searched the crowd for his mother, Linda Roberts, who revealed she had lied to him over a psychic prediction two years earlier.

The psychic was relaying the words of Peacock's grandfather, former Liverpool and Everton footballer John Roberts.

"She went to see a psychic a few years ago and she said he'll go to the Paralympics and he'll get silver," said Peacock, who also revealed Pistorius prayed for the young Briton between the heats and finals.

"She told me last night that she lied and her psychic told her I'd get gold and she just didn't want to tell me."

Peacock, who had his right leg amputated after meningococcal septicaemia aged five, was uncertain where his mother was sitting and spent his lap of honour of the Olympic Stadium seeking her.

He found her by the long jump pit adjacent to the back straight, meaning she had a long-distance view of his success.

He said: "I was looking around starting to worry thinking 'am I going to have to make two victory laps here?'

"She was the one person I wanted to see after. I wanted to give her a massive hug.

"She was in tears. She would've been in tears anyway. I think she would've been in tears even if I'd been last, just because of how far I've come since I was five. She was just so proud."

John Roberts died a few months before Peacock was born, in May 1993.

While his mother was pregnant a blind man touched her stomach, predicting Peacock would be blond with blue eyes.

Peacock, who has a distinctive fair hair and bright blue eyes, finds it difficult to understand such events.

"It's hard to believe in things you can't see," he said.

"I'm a very factual person. I'm a maths and science guy."

The facts point to Peacock being the fastest amputee sprinter in the world, as world record holder and Paralympic champion.

He finished ahead of a stellar field, which saw Pistorius trailing in fourth as the South African missed out on a Paralympic medal for the first time. World champion Jerome Singleton was sixth.

Peacock knew he was capable of beating Olympic 400m semi-finalist Pistorius, for whom he has a healthy respect. It appears to be mutual.

"This is the first time I've raced him and been quicker than him," Peacock said.

"He is the biggest face in Paralympic sport and he is a legend, so to have him saying great things is great."

All eight finalists ran beneath 12 seconds and the fact Pistorius missed out on the podium, with Richard Browne of the United States and Arnu Fourie of South Africa finishing second and third, shows the event is evolving.

"It's testament to Paralympic sport and this class as a whole," Peacock added.

"If Oscar goes and trains for the 400, when it comes to the 100 and 200 it's going to be harder for him to win. He's not going to have it his way like he used to."

Peacock celebrated with a McDonald's and a banana and praised the crowd and their chanting, which he had to calm himself at the start.

He said: "It was absolutely crazy. Someone started it and then the whole crowd joined in.

"The crowd has made this London 2012 Games, it's made it come alive. It's electric when you go out there.

"Britain has got behind these Games and it's absolutely amazing to see."

Despite his success, Peacock believes he will be able to quickly return to normality.

He added: "I don't think life's going to change too much. I'm pretty sure I'll still be able to go below the radar."