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Pistorius Wins 400 Meters for First Paralympics Individual Gold

South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius ran away from the field in a record-setting win in the men’s 400 meters T44 final at the London Paralympics, giving him his first individual gold medal of the games.

Pistorius, 25, broke his own Paralympics record with a time of 46.68 seconds, finishing 3.5 seconds ahead of Blake Leeper of the U.S. American David Prince was third with Brazil’s Alan Fonteles Cardoso Oliveria, who beat Pistorius in the 200 meters, fourth.

“I’m so proud, this summer has been a dream come true,” Pistorius, who last month became the first amputee runner to compete at the Olympic Games, said in an interview with Channel 4. “This is one of the biggest highlights of my life.”

Pistorius entered the Paralympics aiming for four gold medals and leaves with two. He anchored South Africa’s victory in the 400-meter relay, but finished second in the 200 meters and was fourth in the 100.

China, with 95 gold and 231 in total, takes an overwhelming lead in the medal standings into tomorrow’s final day of competition. The Chinese won 11 golds today.

Russia is second with 35 golds among its 101 medals and Britain has 33 golds and 118 total medals.

Brazil Soccer Wins

Brazil defeated France 2-0 to win its third consecutive five-a-side soccer gold medal. Brazil also won gold in the mixed individual boccia BC2 and BC4 competitions, while China swept all four team table tennis gold medals today.

Esther Vergeer of the Netherlands teamed with Marjolein Buis to beat countrywomen Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot 6-1, 6-3 in the women’s tennis doubles final. Vergeer yesterday won her fourth straight singles title, extending her unbeaten streak to 470 matches dating back to 2003.

Noam Gershony won Israel’s first gold at the games by beating David Wagner of the U.S. 6-3, 6-1 in the quad singles wheelchair tennis final. American Victoria Arlen set a world record by winning the women’s 100-meter freestyle swimming S6 gold medal in a time of 1 minute, 13.33 seconds.

Former racing driver Alex Zanardi won his third medal of the games as part of the Italy team that took silver behind the U.S. in the road cycling H1-4 relay. The 45-year-old, who lost both of his legs in a 2001 racing crash, previously won individual golds in the road race and time trial.

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