Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Blade Runner" Qualifies for 2012 Olympics

IBNLive: It's a story that goes beyond sporting achievements. It is a victory of the human spirit.

When 24-year-old double amputee Oscar Pistorius runs at the 400m race in the 2012 London Olympics, he would have done what no other man has ever done before - become the first sprinter to compete for both Olympic and Paralympic gold.

London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe said on Thursday that he looked forward to Pistorius competing at both the world championships in South Korea next month and the Games in London.

Pistorius, who runs with carbon fibre prosthetic running blades after both his lower legs were amputated when he was 11 months old, clocked a 45.07 seconds personal best in the 400 metres at an event in Lignano, Italy, on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old's time was inside both the world championships and Olympic qualifying mark.

The first amputee sprinter to qualify for the world championships, which start in Daegu on August 27, Pistorius has fought a long legal battle with the IAAF over the use of blades.

The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in 2008 that he could compete.

"We absolutely recognise that he is eligible in both and I am guessing he will want to (compete) and that's it. We will welcome him," said Coe, an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) vice-president.

Until his record lap, Pistorius ranked only fourth among South Africa's 400m contenders, but his time in Lignano would have been enough for fifth place in Beijing three years ago and fourth at the world championships in Berlin in 2009.

Pistorius is already the world record holder over 100, 200 and 400 metres in Paralympic events.

Now his dream of becoming the fastest man over 400m is hurtling into view and he told Mirror Sport: "I can't wait to come back and compete in London. My goal is to be the fastest man on the planet, and I would love to set a new world record at London 2012.

No comments: