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Pistorius ends Paralympics with 400m gold

By Hilary Whiteman, CNN
September 10, 2012 -- Updated 0448 GMT (1248 HKT)
Tito Sena of Brazil celebrates winning the men's T46 marathon on Sunday, September 9, the final day of the London 2012 Paralympics. Tito Sena of Brazil celebrates winning the men's T46 marathon on Sunday, September 9, the final day of the London 2012 Paralympics.
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Paralympics 2012: The best photos
Paralympics 2012: The best photos
Paralympics 2012: The best photos
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Paralympics 2012: The best photos
Paralympics 2012: The best photos
Paralympics 2012: The best photos
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Paralympics 2012: The best photos
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Paralympics 2012: The best photos
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Oscar Pistorius beats U.S. rivals by more than three seconds
  • The win is his only individual gold medal of the Paralympic Games
  • It was the final event at the 2012 Paralympics in London
  • Pistorius earlier accused rivals of using "unbelievably long" blades

(CNN) -- South African "blade runner" Oscar Pistorius smashed a Paralympic record to win the men's 400m T44 in the final athletics event of the 2012 Games.

Pistorius, who suffered a shock defeat in the 200m to Brazilian Alan Fonteles Cardoso Oliveira, covered the 400m in the record time of 46.68 seconds.

Oliveira missed out on a 400m medal after slipping from second place to fourth over the final 70 meters.

American athletes Blake Leeper and David Prince took silver and bronze in 50.14 seconds and 50.61, respectively -- more than three seconds behind Pistorius, who bolted down the final stretch.

Beaten Pistorius apologizes for comments

The double-amputee later tweeted: "What a special evening! The highlight of my Paralympic games was the crowd tonight! Gold in the final event of the London 2012 games!"

Opinion: Pistorius, an inspiration and a question

Human to Hero: Oscar Pistorius

It was Pistorius' only individual gold medal win of the Paralympic Games. He took gold in the men's 4x100m relay, but failed to place in the individual 100m T44 and took silver in the 200m T44 individual event.

Pistorius' Olympic ambition

Immediately after his 200m loss, the runner stirred up controversy by accusing the International Paralympic Committee of ignoring his concerns about the length of his rivals' prosthetics.

From the side of the track, Pistorius described their blades as being "unbelievably long."

"You can't compete on stride length," he said. "You saw how far (Alan) came back so, you know what, we're not racing a fair race here, but I gave my best on a great night."

Pistorius later apologized for the timing of his comments but said he believed "there is an issue here."

The Paralympian made history in July by becoming the first double-amputee at able-bodied Summer Olympics when he competed at the 2012 Games in London.

While the runner failed to win a medal, his presence on the track was lauded as an example of victory over adversity, and a lesson in dedication to a goal.

After initially being refused permission to compete against able-bodied competitors, Pistorius hired a legal team to prove that his artificial limbs didn't give him an unfair advantage

Born with a congenital abnormality, Pistorius had both his legs amputated below the knee at 11 months of age and now runs on specially-adapted carbon-fiber limbs.

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