American sprinter Jerome Singleton edged out South African “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, in Wednesday’s 100m T44 face-off at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand. Tied with a clocked time of 11.34 seconds, the deliberations on the photo finish earned Singleton the narrow victory. Singleton’s win ended Pistorius’ seven-year undefeated streak in a major competition in events more than 100m. The world record for the 100m T44 stands at 10.91 seconds.
“There’s a lot of me that won’t be leaving New Zealand,” said Singleton to the IPC, in reference to the skin he lost when diving for the finish line. “But it was worth it.” A rivalry of long standing, particularly after Pistorius’ narrow .03 second win in the same event in Beijing in 2008, Singleton commented earlier in the week, “Oscar’s a fast man and I really appreciate running with him. But the fastest man on no legs is going to have to beat the fastest man on one leg. It’s time to do it.”
Pistorius was gracious about the loss, “[Singleton] was the better man on the day. He has been improving all the time and he is a champion in the making.” Pistorius won gold in the men’s 200m T44 on Monday.
American Jim Bob Bizzell, a medal contender, was disqualified after a false start. Only .09 seconds separated Singleton from the fourth place finisher, South African Aru Fourie. Alan Fonteles Cardoso Oliveira of Brazil earned the bronze.