Last Updated: September 8, 2012 10:52pm
Oscar Pistorius: more than three seconds ahead of the field
Oscar Pistorius finally won his first individual gold medal of London 2012 in the very last race at the Olympic Stadium.
The South African did not quite manage to live up to his claim that he would sign off in "spectacular" fashion, but he was still a hugely convincing winner in a new Paralympic record of 46.68 seconds, more than three seconds ahead of the field.
After a shock 200m loss and an expected 100m one, the 400m was the one title the 25-year-old wanted to keep hold of more than any other. It is his event, the one at which he made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete in the Olympics.
And there was never any danger of an upset. Pistorius came into the race with a personal best more than five seconds quicker than the next fastest in the race, none of whom had broken the 50-second barrier. Pistorius can get close to 45secs at his best.
The South African is still the biggest draw in Paralympic sport and got a huge roar when introduced to the capacity crowd.
Alan Fonteles Oliveira, the T44 200m champion whose long blades sparked furious criticism from Pistorius in the immediate aftermath of that race, was in the lane outside him and for the first half of the race looked like he might pose a challenge.
But Pistorius came into the home straight with a clear lead and, as the Brazilian tired badly, American Blake Leeper came into second and compatriot David Prince third. Oliveira was fourth.
It marks the end of a long summer for the Blade Runner, who leaves London with two golds, having taken one in the relay, and a silver.
"It was very very special to me," Pistorius told Channel 4. "It was the last event of my season, the last event of the London 2012 Games. Just so special.
"It was my 11th time I was able to come out on the track and I just wanted to end and give the crowd something they would appreciate and take home with them.
"I was very nervous before today's race. I was quite tired but the crowd just really kept me going."
"For the first time I was thinking about something beside my race going into the home straight and I could hear the crowd which was very weird, it was so loud, and I thought, 'let's just finish off on a good note'."
Asked about his rival Oliveira, Pistorius said: "It was very difficult to know what race he was going to run after yesterday. He ran out very, very quick over the first 300 and then he in essence just jogged the last 100 so we didn't know what to expect.
"But I think that was a great race for me. I want to thank everyone. This week, this month and this season have had a lot of challenges and my coach is right behind me and I have a lot to thank him for too."
On winning the last race on the track of London 2012, he said: "I'm so proud. This summer's been a dream come true. I couldn't have hoped for anything better.
"Lord Seb Coe and his team and LOCOG have done the most amazing Olympic and Paralympic Games and this is one of the biggest highlights of my life.
"To have had 11 races here, to have made an Olympic final, to have made the semi-final and run one of my quickest times in the Olympics and then to come out here in the Paras and run two world records and get three medals, it's such a blessing for me."
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