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Pistorius grabs Paralympic gold

Oscar Pistorius finally found his happy ending at the London Paralympics. The South African athlete, known as the "Blade Runner", had experienced a controversial and disappointing Games until he claimed gold on the last day, winning the 400 metres.

Pistorius had dented his public image after the 200 metre final when he claimed the race was unfair because of the length of blades worn by his competitors, particularly the Brazilian winner Alan Oliveira. In the 100 metres he was well beaten by the teenage British sprinter Jonnie Peacock.

The 400 metres was Pistorius’s last chance to salvage something from an eventful summer. In his strongest event, Pistorius was not in any danger, overtaking Oliveira by the first bend and winning the race more than three seconds ahead of his nearest challenger, a huge gap over this distance.

"It was very special to me," he said of the win. "It was the last event of my season and the last event of the Games. I was very nervous before today's race, I was quite tired, but the crowd just kept me going."

The London experience has been a chastening one for Pistorius, who has faced negative press coverage in the wake of his complaints about his 200 metre defeat. "The beauty of life is that you're always learning," he said. "It's easy to be gracious when you win but to be humble when you lose is not so easy and I've had to learn that."

The London crowd greeted his victory with warm acclaim for a great athlete.

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