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“Who’s the best? Who’s the best!” roared Samkelo Radebe as Team South Africa’s 4x100m track relay team left the in-field area of the Paralympic Stadium here last night.
The whole world knew who was the best… 41.78 seconds (world record) flashed up on monitors around the stadium – the team of Radebe, Zivan Smith, Arnu Fourie and Oscar Pistorius had rocked the world to win South Africa’s fourth gold and 17th overall medal of these Paralympics.
The flying quartet led from start to finish and it was significant that Pistorius held off Brazilian Alan Oliveira, the man who had beaten him in a shock result in the 200m earlier in the week.
Oliveira was coming on strong again down the home straight but Pistorius’s three teammates had given him enough of a headstart to come up trumps on this occasion
Brazil and the United States (both strong medal contenders) were later disqualified, the former for an improper changeover and the latter for running outside the lane.
This saw China elevated to silver medal status (42.98) and Germany move into the medal placings (45:23).
Radebe, who was warned for a false start at the gun, had been a nervous man.
“I just heard the gun go off twice. Oscar had told me to listen for the sound of the shot behind me so I listened very carefully the next time. My job was to make sure I got to Zivan first and I believe I did,” he grinned.
“I can tell you I smacked him very, very hard to get him going for the second leg.”
Smith took up the tale. “I just went on my gut instinct and started running early and then I heard the loud ‘yes’ behind me and there he was. I’m sure we led from start to finish.”
On to Fourie: “I was so hyped up I just wanted to go. Then I saw the Americans stumble or have some problem next to me and then I just went. I handed over to Oscar and I saw we had about a 4-5m gap and knew we had it. I think I must have run a full 200m following Oscar to the line.” – roadtolondon2012.co.za