South African Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee, has qualified for the world championships and Olympics, running his career-best time at 400 meters yesterday in his last race before the final day of eligibility for the South African team.
“The fastest man on no legs” who competes with carbon-fiber prosthetic running blades, clocked a great time of 45.07 seconds (achieving the “A” qualifying time) and won the 400 meters race at the Internazionale di Atletica Leggera in Lignano, Italy. This time allows Pistorius to compete at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics and is now eligible to be selected to represent South Africa at these events.
Known as the “Blade Runner”, because he runs with Cheetah Flex-Foot carbon fibre transtibial artificial limbs (by Ossur), he has been chasing this dream for years after he had to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to be allowed to compete against able-bodied athletes on his carbon-fiber blades – the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said his “blades” gave him an unfair advantage, but the case was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Pistorius’ favour.
After winning the race last night Pistorius said “With 180 metres out, I just decided to set out for the end, and I really ran a very comfortable last 100 metres,” and “It is kind of strange because I broke my personal best by half a second, which is ridiculous.”
We look forward to Pistorius representing the South African team at the worlds and 2012 Olympics if, and hopefully when, selected!