In a shock result likely to change the face of athletics forever, the disabled South African Zebedee Rundebaart shocked the Olympic crowd this morning after easily winning the high jump event.
Hitherto considered a rank outsider, "Magic" Rundebaart was thought be many to be a 'token' disabled athlete merely making up the numbers, due to his lack of pedigree in the event, patchy record and giant spring taking the place of both legs.
But Rundebaart thoroughly silenced his critics in front of a hushed crowd this morning. Forgoing the traditional run-up, he gently boinged his way into position in front of the bar, which he had controversially set at 5 metres - well over double the current world record.
His face red with strain, his trademark enormous black moustache quivering slightly, the athlete slowly sank down onto his spring, waited what seemed an eternity then with a mystifying cry of "TIME FOR BED!" exploded at least ten metres into the air, landing safely on the mat to roars of approval from a capacity crowd.
Try as they might, no other jumper could come anywhere near to matching the incredible feat. Rundebaart's gold medal, a first for a man with a giant spring in place of both legs, is likely to revolutionise the sport in a way not seen since "Floppy" Dick Fosbury delighted the crowd in the 1968 games in Mexico City with his unusually flaccid technique.
Some commentators have resisted the storytale-style success of the springy jumper, however. Former decathlete Daley Telegraph, speaking on the BBC, denounced the trend for athletes with performance-enhancing prosthetics, saying: "Hello? Is it just me? The guy's got a giant spring, for God's sake! I mean, well done for getting here and all that, but am I the only one who can see this?"
Daley's remarks were swiftly denounced by games organiser Lord Coe, who gave the following emphatic statement to journalists: "We welcome all athletes to these games, and none more so than those who have overcome disability to compete here. To suggest that these disabilities confer some advantage is ludicrous and unfair, as we are sure will be clearly seen when the disabled Lithuanian Pina Kio competes later today."
For those not familiar with the athlete, Pina Kio was born with no nose, but thanks to advanced surgery has been fitted with a 99-metre-long artificial replacement. Although not known previously as an athlete, he competes in the men's 100 metres this afternoon, and is said to be "quietly confident".