Blade runner Pistorius looks to compete in London Olympics

February 19th, 2008 - 2:08 pm ICT by admin  

St. Petersburg, Feb 19 (Xinhua) Double amputee runner Oscar Pistorius is looking to compete in the London 2012 Olympics after the international athletics governing body did not allow him to attend this year’s Beijing Games. The 21-year-old South African has appealed to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) banned him from any sanctioned able-bodied event last month, believing his carbon-fibre prosthetics gave him a considerable advantage.

But given the lengthy time of the appeal process, he has virtually given up hope of competing in the 400 metres in Beijing.

“Obviously I want to run the Olympics later this year,” said Pistorius, who holds the Paralympic 100, 200 and 400 metres world records.

“But I still have to qualify and have to come down from my personal best even to make the qualification standard. But obviously I can’t run in the able-bodied competitions that I need to run in order to qualify.

“I think it’ll take a bit more time but even if you open the door for the 2012, I’m happy about that,” he said. “I will only be 25 then so I will still have time on my hands and sprinters usually peak at any time between 25 to 26, 28, 29.”

Pistorius said he was very disappointed and surprised by IAAF’s decision, but vowed to fight on for the right of disabled athletes to compete in able-bodied races.

“It’s been a rough couple of last weeks. I was really shocked when the result came out,” he said.

“With the decision that’s been made, it affected tens of thousands of amputee athletes all around world to compete in college meets affiliated with IAAF.

“I think it’s important for the inclusion of disabled and able-bodied sport that it gets sorted out,” he said.

He insisted that prosthetics could not give him an advantage and is optimistic about the outcome of a CAS decision.

“The prosthetics hasn’t changed the design for the last 10 years,” he said. “With the research and stuff that we’ve got, I feel what the guys are doing is a very strong case.”

“I wouldn’t be appealing it if I thought that I did not have a foot to stand on - which I don’t,” he said.

Pistorius spent two days in Cologne, Germany, last November undergoing tests alongside five able-bodied athletes of similar ability.

IAAF said the findings revealed that he used 25 percent less energy than able-bodied runners to run at the same speed, which was rejected by Pistorius.

He has competed mostly in able-bodied events in his homeland and twice overseas.

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