Paralympics: Richard Whitehead smashes his own world 200 metres record

 

Inspirational athlete Richard Whitehead proved he is the fastest man on the planet today by smashing his own world record in front of a packed Olympic Stadium.

Whitehead, 36, powered through the field in the final straight and flexed his biceps in a triumphant "two-gun salute" as he crossed the line.

The stadium erupted as the double amputee ran a lap of honour before hugging his family, who proudly watched in the stands.

Speaking after his stunning victory in the 200 metres T42 final, Whitehead, from Nottingham, said: "It's all about guts and determination.

"Today I came, I saw, I conquered.

"That was what the two-gun salute was all about - in honour of my hero Chris Hoy."

He then dedicated the win to his family, including his fiancee Valerie Davies, who is expecting their first child in January.

Seconds after the phenomenal win, Valerie tweeted: "Love u baby. At finish line! We are all so proud of u! Love val, bump, mum & dad!!! £proudmoment."

Whitehead, a double amputee from birth, was denied the chance to take part in his favoured marathon event, which does not feature in the Games.

His win came on a morning of world records as cycling pair Neil Fachie and Barney Storey produced a stunning performance in the velodrome to take gold in the tandem one-kilometre time-trial.

There is the prospect of more gold medals later today as Lee Pearson looks for success in the dressage before darling of the pool Ellie Simmonds defends her title in the 400m freestyle, after powering through her heat in a personal best time.

But the teenager is still waiting to discover whether her American rival Victoria Arlen - who also comfortably won her heat - will be lining up against her after a reclassification ruling this afternoon.

Simmonds, 17, said after this morning's qualifier that she was "really pleased" by her performance, adding: "I am shocked by it.

"All my coach (Billy Pye) said leading into it was to go in there and hopefully do a 5:30.

"But, yeah, really happy - I've just done a PB in a heat swim which gets me ready for tonight.

"It's going to be a very tough but very exciting race, but I am looking forward to it."

The morning's success puts ParalympicsGB in fourth place in the overall table, with 22 medals, including six gold, 11 silver and five bronze.

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn