Find out which other stories made it into the Top 50 Paralympic Moments of 2012.
Great Britain’s Jonnie Peacock had many big moments this year.
One of them was on 6 September when 80,000 people chanted his name, shortly before he won the 100m T44.
But something happened 68 days previously.
On 30 June, the world sat up and took notice of Peacock – that was the day he ran the 100m in 10.85 seconds at the US Paralympic Track & Field Trials, a world record mark that eclipsed times set by South African ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius and USA’s 2004 Paralympic Champion Marlon Shirley.
Single leg amputee Peacock, who turned 19 in May, led home a strong field that included world champion Jerome Singleton, former Paralympic champion Shirley and the 2011 Parapan American Games gold medal winner Jarryd Wallace.
His time of 10.85 was 0.06 second faster than the previous T44 record set in 2007 by Shirley and was also faster than the 10.91 mark set by T43 sprinter Pistorius five years ago.
“This was only my fifth race this year. I’ve had head winds for the two decent races I’ve run. All I’ve been asking for is a tail wind and I finally got one,” said Peacock shortly after the race.
“When I first started running I hated saying my PB was 12-something. It was better when it was 11-something, but now I’m delighted it’s 10-something!” said Peacock.
The sprinter finished sixth at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in 11.89, getting a full second quicker in 12 months. That race was won by USA’s Jerome Singleton (11.34).
At the US Trials, Peacock beat world champion Singleton (11.17), who finished fourth, and also Blake Leeper (10.95), who finished one place ahead of him last year in Christchurch.
“My coach and the physios have been brilliant and obviously I wouldn’t be here at all if my mum and step dad hadn’t constantly driven me to/from training, and also my old coach Hayley who really got me started.
At London 2012, the 19 year old showed that he really was a man to be reckoned with on the global stage, powering ahead of the field in the last 50m to secure a convincing win with a new Paralympic record of 10.90.
USA’s Richard Browne took silver in 11.03 and South Africa’s Arnu Fourie claimed bronze in 11.08.
South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, defending Paralympic champion in the event, finished fourth in a time of 11.17 – a time that had given him the gold medal four years previously in Beijing.
“It’s going to take a long time to sink in,” a breathless Peacock said after the race in London.
“I knew last year that I had a slight possibility to come and win, but as things have progressed, and 100m sprinting has come on leaps and bounds.
“That’s made it harder and harder, and you’ve got to push yourself. Lots of guys have helped me.
“It’s just surreal. I didn’t actually believe it when I crossed the line. I had to wait until the board came up with my time to know that I’d won. When I got to 60m I was thinking, ‘oh dear, I can actually win this.’”
“It’s going to take a long time to sink in," he repeated.
Editor’s Note: For the final 50 days of the year, the IPC will count down the year’s top moments in Paralympic sport, culminating with the year’s best moment on 31 December.
The 50 moments were selected by nominations from National Paralympic Committees and International Federations and are based on sport performance, emotional moments, media attraction and athletes’ personal stories.
The IPC would also like to call on the public to submit their own nominations for what they believe was the top Paralympic moment of 2012. They can do so by emailing [email protected], or by leaving a comment on www.Facebook.com/ParalympicGames or sending a tweet to @Paralympic.