Thursday July 5, 2012
Oscar Pistorius to race in 400m and 4x400m relay
JOHANNESBURG: Double-amputee Oscar Pistorius will compete in the individual 400 metres and the 4x400m relay for South Africa at the London Olympics, a member of South Africa’s Olympic Federation said.
Pistorius’s inclusion in the relay team meant the double-amputee athlete would also be able to take part in the 400m individual race, Tubby Reddy, chief executive of South Africa’s Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) said on Wednesday.
Pistorius, who races wearing carbon fibre prosthetic blades, will become the first double-amputee athlete to compete on the track at an Olympic Games.
His chance of taking in the 400m individual event looked to have eluded him when he failed to reach a second A qualifying standard time before Sascoc’s cut-off on June 30.
The 25-year-old, known as the ‘Blade Runner’, had achieved the A qualifying time once this season when he clocked 45.20 in South Africa in March but Sascoc required their athletes to achieve the time twice, with one of the times being at an international meet.
However, Pistorius’s inclusion on the relay team opened up his opportunity to race in the 400m.
“He was named in the Olympic team (in the 4x400m relay) and then the question arose as to whether he was allowed to run the 400m and he can because he is part of the team,” Reddy said.
“He has run the (individual) qualifying time but if he was not part of the relay team then he would not be going to the Olympics,” he added.
Pistorius was, understandably, excited about the chance to represent his country at an Olympic Games.
“Today is truly one of the proudest days of my life. I’m so pleased years of hard work, determination and sacrifice have all come together,” he said in a statement. – Reuters