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Pistorius retains Paralympic 400m title in style

South Africa's Oscar Pistorius celebrates after winning the men's 400m - T44 final in the Olympic Stadium at the London 2012 Paralympic Games September 8, 2012.


"Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius on Saturday brought the Paralympic track and field program to a close in style, winning his favoured event by a huge margin.

Victory for the 25-year-old South African never looked in any doubt from the gun, as he struck out on his own to lead coming into the last half-lap and was roared across the line by the packed 80,000-capacity Olympic Stadium in 46.68.

US athletes Blake Leeper took silver in 50.14 with David Prince in bronze on 50.61.

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Pistorius -- the only man in the field to run under 50sec for the one-lap sprint and the first double-amputee to compete at the Olympics last month -- won the 100m, 200m and 400m treble in Beijing four years ago.

But he lost both of the shorter sprint titles to Britain's Jonnie Peacock and Alan Oliveira of Brazil.

"It was very very special to me," Pistorius told Britain's Channel 4 television after the race. "It was the last event of my season, the last event of the London 2012 Games. Just so special.

"It was my 11th time I was able to come out on the track and I just wanted to end and give the crowd something they would appreciate and take home with them.

"I was very nervous before today's race. I was quite tired but the crowd just really kept me going."

Pistorius also won gold in the men's T42-46 4x100m relay for single and double below-the-knee amputees and upper limb amputees.

Far from appearing disappointed, the sprinter said he was proud to have taken part in what organisers have billed as the largest and most high-profile Paralympics since the Games began in 1960.

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"This has been the most phenomenonally successful Olympic and Paralympic Games and I think the world is finally seeing that Paralympic sport is truly elite," he added.

"It has performances that are really worth supporting and worth getting to know the athletes for. It's been a humbling blessing being here."

A record 4,200 athletes from 165 nations took part in the 11-day competition, which ends on Sunday, while an unprecedented 2.7 million tickets have been sold.

In track and field, China finished top of the medal table with 86, including 33 gold. Russia were second with 36, including 19 gold, and Britain third on 27, 10 of them gold.

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