Mixed emotions after Peacock dethroned as Paralympic sprint king

Tokyo 2020

Britain
Britain's Jonnie Peacock said he was "really annoyed" after losing his Paralympic sprint title (Kazuhiro NOGI/AFP)

Tokyo (AFP)

by Andrew MCKIRDY

Britain's Jonnie Peacock said he was "really annoyed" after being dethroned as Paralympic sprint champion on Monday, but "super-happy" that he could take bronze in Tokyo after an injury-blighted season.

Peacock, who won 100m gold at both the 2012 and 2016 Games, looked to be in serious contention going into the last 40 metres of the men's T64 final.

But he faded badly at the finish as German Felix Streng surged to win gold, with Peacock sharing bronze with Germany's Johannes Floors on identical times of 10.79sec.

"One side of me is super-happy that I was able to turn my season around the way I have and be competitive in that race," said Peacock, who hurt his hamstring in May and was also coming back from a knee injury.

"The other side of me, when I watch it back, I'm really annoyed because I was in a really good position at 60 metres."

Peacock said he thought to himself "I'm taking gold" after passing the halfway mark, but "started going backwards" as he approached the finish line.

"Unfortunately, I just wasn't sharp enough, and the sharpest guy won on the day."

Britain
Britain's Jonnie Peacock said he will compete at the 2024 Paris Paralympics (Kazuhiro NOGI/AFP)

Streng won the race in a time of 10.76, followed by Costa Rican debutant Sherman Isidro Guity Guity on 10.78 -- winning his country's first Paralympic medal.

Peacock faced a nervy wait until his joint-bronze medal with Floors was announced, and the 28-year-old said he was "happy to take away something after that long wait".

"I thought it wasn't going to happen and I would come away from this with nothing, and that would have been really upsetting. Perspective is everything," said Peacock.

- 'Bread and butter' -

Streng, who won 100m bronze at the 2016 Rio Games, had said he was "confident" of taking Peacock's crown in Tokyo.

"It felt amazing -- I'm so happy that I could execute a race and win in such a strong competitive field," said the 26-year-old German.

German sprinter Felix Streng took gold in Tokyo after winning bronze at the 2016 Rio Paralympics (Kazuhiro NOGI/AFP)
German sprinter Felix Streng took gold in Tokyo after winning bronze at the 2016 Rio Paralympics (Kazuhiro NOGI/AFP)

"I'm endlessly happy to win the race and become the Paralympic champion in the 100 metres."

Peacock had taken some time away from athletics following the 2016 Rio Games, and he has since appeared on several British TV programmes.

But he said competing in Tokyo had "lit a fire" in him, and that sprinting was his "bread and butter".

He said "without a doubt" he would compete at the 2024 Paris Games.

In the past, Peacock has spoken out about the treatment of para athletes, arguing that their race appearance fees should be closer to their Olympic counterparts.

He also called on race organisers to put on more events featuring para athletes.

"This is the situation -- if Britain wants to sit there and take anything, it's how are we to get experience racing our guys if we don't put races on?" he said.

© 2021 AFP

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