Twin joy for double amputee Pistorius
South African double amputee athlete Oscar Pistorius had twin cause for joy yesterday after being told he could run in the 400 metres and the 4x400m relay at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Confirmation that he would become the first amputee to compete at the Games came with his inclusion in the relay team, and a few hours later the national Olympic committee did a u-turn and agreed to him also running in the individual event.
Athletics South Africa (ASA) convinced Olympic body SASCOC that Pistorius should compete in the 400m despite bettering the 45.30-second qualifying time only once instead of twice as demanded.
SASCOC chief executive Tubby Reddy told AFP his body “did not have a problem with that” and a day to remember for 25-year-old Pistorius was complete.
His selections come five days after conceding defeat in a battle to run in the 400m as he finished 0.22 of a second outside the qualifying mark of 45.30 seconds when finishing second at the Africa championships.
Pistorius did clock 45.20 last March but could not repeat the feat at an international meet. But his sadness turned to joy as S. Africa finalised the squad for London by choosing a relay team including Pistorius, Willem de Beer, Ofentse Mogawane and Shaun de Jager.