Peacock launches quest for gold

Halstead Gazette: British favourite Jonnie Peacock will be aiming for gold in the Paralympics 100m British favourite Jonnie Peacock will be aiming for gold in the Paralympics 100m

The fastest amputee in the world is taking to the track today in preparation for his 100m showdown - against controversial "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius.

British favourite Jonnie Peacock, 19, smashed the world record in June to run the distance in a blistering 10.85 seconds. He will embark on his quest for Paralympic gold when he takes part in his heat in a packed Olympic Stadium.

Pistorius will be lining up on the start line in a separate heat - for the first time since his controversial outburst following his 200m final loss on Sunday.

The South Africans complained the race was "unfair", claiming his opponents' blades were too long, before later apologising. The pair are expected to go head-to-head in a winner-takes-all gold medal showdown in the Olympic Stadium on Thursday.

Peacock contracted meningitis as a child which left him in a coma, and doctors were forced to amputate his right leg below the knee. Speaking before the Games, he predicted a new world record in the final.

The confident teenager, from Cambridge, said: "Getting a medal is not going to be a walk in the park in London. It is so competitive. Everyone could run under 11. I know Oscar is training his socks off and he is going to get results. It wouldn't surprise me if he broke the world record again."

The Games will also get physical when "Murderball" - or wheelchair rugby - gets under way.

The sport is so brutal that welders are on hand at the side of the pitch to patch up the battered equipment - which is pummelled during the incredibly physical matches. Britain will take on the United States in the Basketball Arena.

"The Quadfather" Peter Norfolk, 51, will also bid to get his medal attempt back on track as he takes part in the men's doubles with his partner Andy Lapthorne, after he suffered a shock defeat in the singles on Tuesday.

Welsh flier Mark Colbourne, 42, claimed gold in the 3km individual pursuit on Friday, setting a new world record, and will again take to the track at Brands Hatch in the road time trial.

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