“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!”
Great Britain’s Jonnie Peacock has spoken of his delight after setting a new world record of 10.85 seconds for the 100m T44.
The single-leg amputee smashed the world record on Saturday (30 June) at the US Paralympic Track and Field Trials, taking 0.06 off the previous T44 record set by Marlon Shirley in 2007. His time is also faster than the T43 record of 10.91 set by South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius five years ago.
“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.
“(Coach Dan Pfaff) and I knew I was in 10.7/10.8 shape and I came out here wanting to win, that was my first goal. I knew if I could beat these guys, who are the best in the world, then it would bode well for London. My second goal was to run under 11 seconds.
“I’ve gone almost a full second quicker in 12 months, from running 11.63 at the World Championships in January last year to 10.85 today.”
At last year’s IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand Peacock finished sixth in a race that was won by USA’s Jerome Singleton (11.34).
On Saturday, 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.
Peacock said: “I’d only had a couple of decent races before I came out here. I raced at the English Championships where it was chucking it down in Birmingham the day after I’d passed my driving test. I was mentally tired and I was disappointed, by my standards, in how the race went. A week later I ran 11.24 into a -3.2 headwind at Bedford and I couldn’t believe I’d gone so quick in the conditions.
“I just can’t thank my support team at Lee Valley enough – hopefully this does justice to all the support they’ve given me and gives them something back. 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.
“I really am so grateful, I know we’re so fortunate in this country to have such a brilliant performance programme and I feel like that alone gives us an advantage over our opposition. Steve Lewis (the GB pole vaulter) said to me the other week that I should be apologising to them all on the start line for being given such a head start in terms of support!
“I really couldn’t wish for a better start to my career. My PB last year was 11.47 and less than 48 hours ago it was 11.24, now it’s 10.85 and I’m not stopping there. I’m so excited now to just keep on racing and push the boundaries of what an amputee can do.
“I’m still nervous about selection for the Paralympic Games, but hopefully I’ll get picked!”
Peacock’s world record has made the already much anticipated men’s 100m T43/44 London 2012 Paralympic final on Thursday 6 September an even more mouth watering prospect.
The line-up in the Olympic Stadium is expected to include world record holder Peacock, reigning Paralympic champion Pistorius, world champion Singleton, Americas record holder Leeper together with South Africa’s Arnu Fourie. The 27 year old ran 11.09 in February this year and a month later became only the second person in eight years to defeat Pistorius over 100m.
Brazil’s Alan Fonteles Cardoso Oliveira, a bronze medallist at last year’s World Championships, is also expected to be a contender.
To see footage of Peacock’s world record breaking run, please visit http://bit.ly/LGkMdy.