Whitehead storms to 200m gold
12:47pm Saturday 1st September 2012 in © Press Association 2014
Marathon world record holder Richard Whitehead continued to push the boundaries of human achievement by racing to Paralympic gold in a new world record over 200 metres.
The 36-year-old athlete, who has completed 24 marathons since 2004, turned to the sprints after being denied the chance to race over the longest distance on the streets of London.
Whitehead, greeted by a huge roar from a packed Olympic Stadium, conquered the challenge in style by clocking 24.38 seconds to take the T42 category title by a huge margin.
The Nottingham athlete came storming through down the home straight to lower his own world record, winning by more than a second in a high quality race in which every single competitor ran at least a personal best.
Whitehead lapped up the support, performing his take on the Royal wave, as Usain Bolt did ahead of his Olympic 200m final, when introduced to the crowd, with a faulty start adding to the tension.
The double above-the-knee amputee sais his goal at London 2012 was to leave a legacy, saying just to go after another record and a gold medal would be "missing the whole ticket about the Games".
Whitehead told Channel 4: "Today I came and saw and conquered. That's why I gave the two-gun salute at the end. I know a lot of the guys had trained hard for the [first] 150 metres. It was a bit choppy at the end but I held it together.
"Yesterday I didn't feel too well. I had a headache and a bit of a temperature. But I overcame that, I've overcome so much in my life. Today was about giving back everyone here a performance.
"I've got all the support around me and that is why I'm successful. I'd like to dedicate the gold to my mum and dad and my girlfriend. I've still got the 100 to come which will be about putting my foot down."
Meanwhile, Gemma Prescott added a bronze medal in the F31/32/51 club throw. The 28-year-old threw a new European record of 20.50 metres, equating to 1015 points to claim Great Britain's fourth athletics medal of the Games.