Oscar Pistorius wins the 400m in the Italian town of
Lignano to qualify for the world championships.
Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius qualifies for world championships
July 20, 2011
DOUBLE amputee Oscar Pistorius has qualified for the 400 metres at the athletics world championships after beating the qualifying time in the Italian town of Lignano.
The South African known as the Blade Runner, needing a time of 45.25 to qualify for the worlds, ran 45.07 to beat his previous best of 45.61.
The world championships will be held in Daegu, South Korea beginning on August 27.
The time also puts Pistorius on track to fulfil his dream of competing at the 2012 Olympics and after achieving the qualifying time, he now just needs to be selected for the South African team.
Pistorius gained international fame when he tried to qualify for the 2008 Olympics.
He had to battle a ban by world governing body the IAAF from competing in able-bodied races after his carbon-fibre blades were deemed an unfair advantage.
He went to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and was cleared in 2008. But the legal process took a toll on training and he didn't come close to the qualifying time for Beijing.
"I vowed that that would never happen again," Pistorius said recently.
Pistorius had his lower legs amputated when he was 11 months old, but has always been involved in sports.
He competed in rugby, water polo and tennis. He took up running as part of a rehabilitation program after getting a rugby injury.
Pistorius is the world record-holder in the 100, 200 and 400 for disabled athletes, and a multiple gold-medal winner at the Paralympics.