‘Great advert for Paralympics’ hails 100m sprint star Jonnie Peacock

Sprint star Jonnie Peacock declared his exhilarating 100m final a perfect advert for Paralympic sport as he claimed “Long John Silver” was the only one-legged role model during his childhood.

GB's Jonnie Peacock sprints to a bronze medal in the 100m - T64 Final at the Paralympics. Picture: Joel Marklund for OIS/PA

The British amputee’s quest for a glorious hat-trick of Paralympic titles dramatically ended in joint bronze in Tokyo after the first four athletes remarkably crossed the finish line within 0.04 of a second.

Gold went to Germany’s Felix Streng in a time of 10.76 seconds and silver to Costa Rican Sherman Isidro Guity Guity, while Peacock and Johannes Floors endured a agonising wait of more than three minutes before being confirmed as joint occupiers of the final T64 podium position.

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Cambridge-born Peacock, who won gold in the T44 class in London and Rio, proclaimed himself “proud” to be a part of a spellbinding evening in Japan, while his reference to the main antagonist of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island highlighted the progress being made in the disability movement.

Jonnie Peacock celebrates at the Paralympics. Picture: Joel Marklund for OIS/PA

“If that’s not an advert for Paralympic sport in 11 seconds I don’t know what is,” said the 28-year-old, who posted a season’s best of 10.79 secs. “It’s a shame that the stadium wasn’t full today because the noise would have been incredible.

“The Paralympics has the ability to change things: 15 per cent of the world is made up of disabled people and we need to be represented. I’m so proud to be a part of it.

“Long John Silver was the only person I saw growing up. We need more representation.

“I’m biased, but I think that’s one of the best races in the Paralympics.

“This event, it’s getting faster and faster every five years now. I expect it to keep going that way. I think the world record is going to be broken very very soon.”

The names of Streng and Guity Guity immediately flashed up on the scoreboard at the National Stadium in the humid Japanese capital.

But there was a lengthy, nail-biting delay to see who would join the top two in the medal positions as the photo finish was scrutinised.

Eventually – and almost a month on from Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi and Muta Essa Barshim of Qatar sharing high jump gold at the Olympics – there was nothing to split Peacock and German Floors, with each deemed to have clocked precisely 10.786 secs.

Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Peacock was bemused by the unfamiliar situation and had mixed feelings on his final position having been strongly placed with 40 metres to go.

He said: “I didn’t think you could share medals in sprints, has this ever happened? To share the bronze medal with Johannes I’m so happy, he’s a great guy.”

Earlier, British wheelchair racer Andrew Small grabbed gold after blitzing his rivals in the men’s T33 100m final.

The 28-year-old powered out of the blocks and claimed victory in a time of 17.73 secs. His blistering start proved crucial as defending champion Ahmad Almutairi of Kuwait threatened to snatch victory by closing the sizeable gap, only to cross the line a tenth of a second behind.

Small’s success was an upgrade on the bronze he won behind Almutairi in Rio, with third place on this occasion going to his GB team-mate Harri Jenkins.

Another Briton, James Freeman, finished fourth of the five racers in 19.69secs.

Six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir and GB team-mate Danny Sidbury each qualified for the final of the men’s T54 1500m, while Columba Blango progressed from the T20 400m heats.

Phoebe Paterson Pine struck Paralympic archery gold after winning the battle of the Brits by eliminating defending champion Jess Stretton en route to glory in Tokyo.

Games debutant Paterson Pine began a memorable day with a tense 141-140 success over her world number one compatriot in the second round of the women’s individual compound.

The 23-year-old, who has spina bifida, later took Stretton’s crown with a 134-133 win over Chile’s Mariana Zuniga Varela in the decisive contest, having also beaten France’s Julie Chupin and Italian Maria Andrea Virgilio in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.

Later in the day, Britain’s third most successful Paralympian Sir Lee Pearson earned the 14th gold of his career with victory in the grade II individual freestyle test.

Pearson completed a hat-trick of podium-topping performances in Japan by scoring 82.447 with his home-bred horse Breezer.

The 47-year-old once again edged Austrian rival Pepo Puch into silver, while GB rider Georgia Wilson collected the second bronze of her debut Games with 76.754 on Sakura.

Natasha Baker was also on the podium at Equestrian Park, winning her second silver on Keystone Dawn Chorus courtesy of a score of 77.614 in the grade III equivalent. The equestrian trio previously clinched gold together in Sunday’s dressage team test to music grade IV discipline.

It was the 47-year-old’s second gold of the Games following victory in grade II individual dressage.

At Tokyo International Forum, powerlifter Louise Sugden won bronze in the women’s -86kg division.