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Oscar Pistorius leads South Africa to relay gold

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The South Africa team of Oscar Pistorius (right), Samkelo Radbee, Zivan Smith and Arnu Foure celebrate winning Gold in a world record time during the Men's 4x100m - T42-T46 Final at the Olympic Stadium, London.  Photo: PA

The South Africa team of Oscar Pistorius (right), Samkelo Radbee, Zivan Smith and Arnu Foure celebrate winning Gold in a world record time during the Men's 4x100m - T42-T46 Final at the Olympic Stadium, London. Photo: PA

The South Africa team of Oscar Pistorius (right), Samkelo Radbee, Zivan Smith and Arnu Foure celebrate winning Gold in a world record time during the Men's 4x100m - T42-T46 Final at the Olympic Stadium, London. Photo: PA

Oscar Pistorius had cause for double celebration today after winning a belated first gold medal of London 2012 - and finding an ally in his blade crusade.

The 25-year-old, who sparked huge controversy by attacking the long blades used by some of his rivals after being beaten in the 200 metres final on Sunday, showed his pair are still working just fine by claiming relay gold.



Pistorius brought the South African T42-46 4x100m team home in a world-record 41.78 seconds, out-running his 200m conqueror Alan Fonteles Oliveira in the process.



In the end that did not matter as Oliveira's Brazilian team were disqualified for a changeover problem.



Pistorius, who earlier in the night had breezed into the T44 100m final - the second fastest qualifier behind British teenager Jonnie Peacock - was quick to again emphasise his remorse at the timing of his criticism.



"One of the things I've learned - you can be humble when you win, it's easy. But to be gracious when you lose, that's not something I did and I'm very sorry for that," he said.



But American sprinter Jerome Singleton, the 100m world champion and another contender for gold in the final tonight, claimed the South African icon might have a point.



Despite being billed a T44 race (single-leg below-the-knee amputees), the races also include T43 runners, who are double amputees, like Pistorius as well as Oliveira and Blake Leeper, both of whom wear the longer blades.



Pistorius himself cannot switch to the longer sort if he wants to carry on competing in non-disabled competition as they have to conform to stringent IAAF regulations.



Singleton said: "I think the T43s and T44s need to split classes. It's not apples to apples - it's apples to pineapples right now.



"If you want to keep us together you need to re-evaluate that formula to make sure it's a fair playing field for all the athletes, because single-leg amputees, we don't really have too much manoeuvring when it comes to height."



The blade length for single-leg amputees, like Singleton, is obviously dictated largely by the length of their other leg.



Singleton added: "I think we need to re-evaluate the formula so we can come together and have an idea of an exact height for an athlete to run in, maybe have a variation of about one centimetre so you know you're racing the same athlete in all competitions."



Peacock, a single-leg amputee, geared up for the final by equalling the Paralympic record of 11.08secs into a head wind in his heat - and then claimed there was plenty more to come.



"The end of the race wasn't as controlled as I'd like it to be," said the world record holder, who has run 10.85s this summer.



"I'll come back stronger tomorrow."



There was further British medal success as a silver for Bethany Woodward in the T37 200 metres and bronze for David Devine in the T12 800m took the team up to 18 in total - one more than their tally from Beijing.