HEADER MARKUPS

Rumbo a 2012

 
 
 
 

Latam » Road to 2012 » Road to 2012

 Oscar Pistorius continues to make history
August 08, 2011 11h06AM {data}2011-08-08{/data}{hora}11:06{/hora} {data}2011-08-08{/data}{hora}11:17{/hora}

Pistorius will run in the world championships in Daegu.. Photo: AFP

Pistorius will run in the world championships in Daegu.
Photo: AFP

Double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius was selected by South Africa's athletics federation for this month's world championships, calling it the culmination of his dream of competing at the highest level against able-bodied athletes.

Pistorius is set to become the first amputee athlete to compete at the worlds after being chosen to represent South Africa in Daegu, South Korea, as its only runner in the 400 meters. He was also chosen for the 4x400 relay.

The 24-year-old Pistorius was named in a group of 26 athletes by Athletics South Africa after he smashed his personal best last month at a meet in northern Italy to make the qualifying time for the worlds and next year's London Olympics.

"I have dreamt for such a long time of competing in a major championships and this is a very proud moment in my life," Pistorius said in a statement. "It is an honor to be representing my country at such a prestigious event and I hope to do my best at the competition for South Africa."

"If I manage to make it through the heats, I would be thrilled," he added. "A good performance for me would be to be consistent through the heats. If I ran anywhere close to my PB (personal best), I would be delighted."

Women's 800-meter world champion Caster Semenya was also included and will defend the title she won in 2009 amid a storm of controversy over gender tests.

Eleven of South Africa's athletes will be going to their first-ever world championships, including Pistorius, who had to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to be allowed to compete in able-bodied events on his carbon fiber blades.

The International Association of Athletics Federations had banned the multiple Paralympic gold medal winner from able-bodied competition, saying the blades gave him an unfair advantage.

Pistorius was cleared to compete in 2008, but failed to qualify for that year's Beijing Olympics and the 2009 worlds in Berlin.

But, needing to run 45.25 seconds to make this year's world championships, Pistorius clocked 45.07 last month in Lignano, Italy, his final race before the qualifying cutoff ¿ having never run faster than 45.61 before.

"The IAAF is a world-class governing body for our sport and I am grateful to have the chance to run in their events," Pistorius said. "It will be a great day for me when I set out on the track in Daegu and I hope to do my country proud. This will be the highest-profile and most prestigious able-bodied event which I have ever competed in and I will face the highest-caliber of athletes from across the planet."

New Athletics South Africa President James Evans said there was no concern on the part of the national federation over renewed criticism ¿ after Pistorius ran his 45.07 ¿ that the blades were unfair for other athletes.

"He has been cleared by CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport)," Evans told the AP, "and this has been dealt with by the courts already. The IAAF have accepted his entry (for the world championships) and there is no reason for us not to pick him."

The world championships run Aug. 27 to Sept. 4.

Semenya was cleared to run last year after an 11-month layoff because of the gender tests, but has had an erratic buildup to her title defense. She struggled with a back injury and then failed to come anywhere near the devastating pace she showed to win the 800 as an 18-year-old two years ago.

"Hopefully she will reproduce that form," Evans said. "She hasn't had the greatest run-up to the world championships but it is the world championships. We'll do everything we can to help her."

Men's 800 world champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and 400-meter hurdler LJ van Zyl were also named to the team, as was Khotso Mokoena, the 2008 Olympic and 2009 world silver-medallist in the long jump.

AP - All rights reserved
 
Latest »
  1. Usain Bolt wins 100m; sets Olympic record
  2. Spain's Mullera wins back Olympic spot
  3. United State dominates Croatia 81-56 in women's basketball debut
  4. More news »