Pistorius victorious: gold at last for 'Blade Runner'

The South African sprinter smashes the Paralympic 400m record, while cyclist David Stone gets GB off to a golden start on the penultimate day of the Games. Kate Youde surveys the highlights

The most famous Paralympian on the planet saved his best for last. “The Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius last night stormed to an emphatic victory in the men's 400m T44 race, the final track event of the Games in the Olympic Stadium. He smashed the Paralympic record with his time of 46.68 seconds, taking more than four seconds off the previous best, and finished more than three seconds ahead of Americans Blake Leeper and David Prince in second and third. Brazilian Alan Oliveira was fourth.

The convincing win came days after the South African was beaten to gold in the 200m final by Oliveira and promptly criticised the length of fellow competitors' blades. He had finished out of the medals in the 100m, won by Britain's Jonnie Peacock.

The evening failed to bring any British athletics success: Nathan Stephens, anticipated to be the main home medal hope on the night, failed to make an impact. The world-record holder going into the F57/58 javelin throw final, he only managed a best of 33.10m after being judged to have recorded two foul throws. Following an appeal, Stephens' second attempt, of 37.09m, was reinstated. But that distance was not enough to put him in contention.

Great Briton

The cyclist David Stone got Great Britain off to a golden start on the penultimate day of action at the Paralympic Games with victory in the road race at Brands Hatch yesterday morning. The Yorkshireman's win helped the home nation to finish the Games at the top of the cycling medal table, with 22 medals.

The Beijing double-gold medallist successfully defended the title he won four years ago, finishing the 24km T1-2 race in 45:17 minutes, seven seconds ahead of the Italian Giorgio Farroni. David Vondracek of the Czech Republic was third. The result saw Stone bounce back from losing his time trial title on Wednesday, when he picked up bronze.

The 31-year-old tricycle rider, who has cerebral palsy, said yesterday was the best race of his life. "It makes the win better as it wasn't easy," he said. Stone is competing in his third Games and plans to go for gold again in Rio. "Compared to Beijing, the field is so much harder. It's good. It pushes me – it makes it a much better sport." He said the crowd was "fantastic. I couldn't let them down today."

Also at Brands Hatch, Lora Turnham and her pilot Fiona Duncan finished eighth in the women's B individual road race.

Silver lining

One person who would have been keenly following the progress of David Smith in boccia was his girlfriend, Kathryn, who had said she would not marry him unless he came back with a medal.

He won silver yesterday to add to a bronze medal he had already won in the team event. Asked how he was doing after winning two medals, he said: "You'll have to ask [Kathryn] that one. "She said I had to win two medals and one of them had to be gold," said the 23-year-old, from Eastleigh in Hampshire. "She's keeping it [her decision to marry him] close. She's been kept updated [on matches] and she's chuffed to bits."

Smith, who is studying aerospace engineering at Swansea University, was delighted with his medal in the sport, which is similar to boules or pétanque. He lost 7-0 to Pattaya Tadtong of Thailand, who "was on fire", in the final of the mixed individual BC1 competition at the ExCeL.

"Silver medallist sounds pretty good. I'm chuffed to bits," he said. "I gave it my best shot. Sometimes it's easy to focus on the award and not the performance. I think I gave a good performance."

Stephen McGuire missed out on a medal yesterday, losing 5-3 to the world No 1 Eliseu dos Santos of Brazil in the BC4 bronze medal match.

Final whistle

David Clarke brought his international career to an end by scoring in ParalympicGB's 2-0 win over Turkey in the five-a-side football competition. It was the veteran captain's 128th goal in his 144th international appearance. The result secured the team seventh-place.

After the final whistle, the player made an emotional address to the crowd and his team-mates at the Riverbank Arena. "If I can inspire blind kids to start playing football, then as far as I'm concerned it's job done," he said.

Friendly match

The competitive action may have been over in women's sitting volleyball but ParalympicsGB still had a match on their hands yesterday – against firefighters, paramedics and police officers who had been on duty during the Games.

The friendly match at the ExCeL was the brainwave of Martine Wright, a member of the British team, who lost both her legs in the 7/7 bomb attacks on London in 2005. She struck up a conversation with firefighters working at the Olympic Park and challenged them to a game.

Bronze finish

Ellie Simmonds, with silver in the S6 100m freestyle, was not the only British swimmer to make a splash. Harriet Lee, 21, added to the medal tally at the Aquatics Centre yesterday evening with a bronze in the SB9 100m breaststroke. She touched in with a time of 1:19.53 behind Sophie Pascoe of New Zealand in second and Khrystyna Yurchenko of Ukraine in first place. Lee said competing at London 2012 was "quite emotional". "I wasn't supposed to be walking, never mind swimming," she said. Lee has Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, an overgrowth disorder. "I've had a really rocky year", she added, "but... you've just got to fight."

Photo finish

In the closest race of the evening at the Olympic Stadium, South African Fanie van der Merwe and China's Yongbin Liang both broke the world record in the men's T37 100m race as they crossed the finish line together in a time of 11.51 seconds. But while the clock couldn't separate them, the officials did. They awarded the South African runner the gold medal, Liang the silver. Van der Merwe shaved 100th of a second off the record he held, of 11.52 seconds.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
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

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'