Amputee Pistorius, Semenya to compete in World AthleticsAugust 8th, 2011 - 9:22 pm ICT by IANS
Johannesburg, Aug 8 (IANS) Oscar Pistorius is all set to become the first amputee athlete to compete at the World Championships.
Double-amputee sprinter Pistorius and controversial world 800 metres champion Caster Semenya have been included in South Africa’s 26-member squad for the World meet in Daegu, South Korea.
Semenya was cleared to run last year after 11 months because of gender tests.
Pistorius was cleared to compete against able-bodied athletes in 2008.
“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 was quoted as saying in BBC.
“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,” he said.
“This will be the highest-profile and most prestigious able-bodied event which I have ever competed in, and I will face the highest-calibre of athletes from across the planet.”
Athletics South Africa (ASA) president James Evans said they have selected all those athletes who fulfilled the qualification criteria.
“With 11 athletes competing for the first time at this level, we are very clearly looking to 2012 and beyond,” he said.
“It is exciting to see this kind of talent at our disposal for the next four years, and with an average age of 24 years, this is quite healthy.”
Pistorius, 24, a four-time Paralympic gold medallist, clocked a personal best time of 45.07 seconds at a meeting in Lignano, Italy, last month to book his place in the team.
Ranked 18th in the world this year, Pistorius improved the A-qualifying standard by 0.18 seconds.
He was also named in the men’s 4×400m relay squad.
Semenya, meanwhile, was inconsistent in her build-up to the global championships.
The 20-year-old middle distance specialist, who was cleared last year to run against women, was thrust into the limelight at the centre a gender debacle after she won the 800m title in Berlin two years ago.
Her season’s best of 1:58.60 — more than three seconds slower than her national record — has ranked her only 14th in the world heading into the global championships.
- Olympic athletics: Tintu Luka fails to qualify for 800m final - Aug 10, 2012
- Semenya's gender tested unknown to her: mother - Sep 13, 2009
- Rivals 'stared and laughed at' Proteas' Semenya, claims UK athlete - Jul 23, 2010
- Defeated Pistorius questions rules - Sep 03, 2012
- S. African gender row runner Semenya set to race against women - Jul 06, 2010
- Caster Semenya wins comeback race in Finland - Jul 16, 2010
- After World Cup, runner Semenya is South Africa's hope - Jul 12, 2010
- Semenya skips African Athletics Championships, to focus on CWG - Jul 12, 2010
- Caster Semenya plans to make 1,500m bid in 2012 Olympics - Feb 22, 2011
- 'It's like racing a man', says Semenya's Brit rival after Berlin race - Aug 23, 2010
- Woman power at London Games (Olympic diary) - Aug 07, 2012
- Caster Semenya Cleared to Compete After Gender Confirmed - Jul 07, 2010
- Caster Semenya to take part in Commonwealth Games - Aug 23, 2010
- Djokovic, Cheruiyot, Barcelona win Laureus Awards - Feb 07, 2012
- Bolt, Blake make shortlist for Athlete-of-the-Year award - Nov 05, 2011
Tags: 24 years, asa president, athlete, best time, calibre, caster, daegu south korea, debacle, james evans, johannesburg, lignano italy, limelight, member squad, middle distance, oscar pistorius, president james, proud moment, qualification criteria, south korea, world championships