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Video - Pistorius powers to gold
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius won the first of what he hopes will be three Paralympic golds in dramatic fashion.
Defending T44 100m champion Marlon Shirley of the USA fell as Pistorius came through to win in 11.18 seconds.
"I've got the 200m and 400m coming up - my strongest events," said Pistorius, nicknamed "Blade Runner" because of his two prosthetic legs.
Ben Rushgrove and Libby Clegg won 100m silver medals for Great Britain during the morning session at the Bird's Nest.
Wheelchair athlete Dave Weir won his 400m semi-final in torrential rain but is worried a cold might hit his bid for five gold medals - all four track events and the marathon.
"I'm a bit tired," he said. "I've tried my best and the doctors are looking after me but we'll see.
"I don't think I've ever raced in rain like that before - it was a bit annoying but I got through and that's the main thing."
I don't think it's hit me that I've got a silver but it's amazing
Pistorius won a court battle to compete at last month's Olympics but failed to qualify and now has his sights set on the London 2012 Games.
He had hoped to run under 11 seconds in the 100m final but suffered a very slow start in wet conditions and only just got past American Jerome Singleton on the line.
"I hate running on a wet track but it all came together," he said.
Pistorius is next in action in the 200m on Saturday, with the 400m final on Tuesday.
Earlier, Clegg chased powerful Ukrainian Oxana Boturchuk to claim silver in 12.51 in the final of the 100m event for visually impaired athletes.
"The Ukrainian athlete is wicked fast," said Clegg. "Hopefully she'll be in London 2012 and we can have a rematch."
Rushgrove, who has cerebral palsy, recovered from a sluggish start to come in behind Ukraine's Roman Pavlyk.
He injured his foot recently and was delighted with a personal best as Pavlyk broke the Paralympic record.
"It felt awesome," he said. "The Ukraine athlete beat me at the 2006 World Champs, but I didn't think he would run that fast.
"Without the doctors and physio here, and at Bath, I wouldn't have made it. They kept me in one piece after my foot injury. They were a fantastic team."
Cardiff's Tracey Hinton bounced back from her disappointment at not qualifying for the T11 100m A final to finish second in the B event, securing sixth place overall.
Nathan Stephens finished eighth in the shot put with a throw of 12.57m, while Kate Arnold finished ninth in her heat of the T46 100m.
Stephens, who has the discus and javelin to come, said: "I am pleased to make the final eight. It was a great competition as the world record was broken three times."
Three-time javelin champion Kenny Churchill failed to win a medal for the first time at a Paralympic Games when he finished sixth behind China's Xia Dong, who took the gold medal with a new world record of 57.81 in the F37/38 class.
"I am very disappointed," said Churchill, who threw a season's best 47.30m.
"I wanted to do it for my daughter Gracie and win her a medal. She's at home now and she's only 10 months old."