Oscar Pistorius won't be running in the 400m final at the World Athletics Championships. A last-place finish in the semi-finals on Monday ended the athlete’s 400m Daegu dream at the competition - for now. By REBECCA DAVIS.
All eyes were on the South African double-amputee as the sprinters took to the starting blocks. Pistorius was given a hero’s welcome by the crowd at the stadium in Daegu, South Korea, and was seen mouthing “thank you” to the crowd before the starting gun. Pistorius kept level with the field for much of the race, but in the final stretch fell behind, eventually finishing in 8th place. His final time was 46.19 seconds – a second-and-a-half off Jamaica’s Jermaine Gonzales’s winning time of 44.99 secs. Pistorius’s time was also more than a second short of his personal best. His was not the slowest in the semi-final heats though: there were two slower finishes in the other races.
But Pistorius was in a sanguine mood afterwards, telling reporters, “I’m very happy to have had the opportunity to be here and I’ll have to work on it.” Possibly in response to the criticism from Paralympian Tanni Grey-Thompson that his appearance in able-bodied athletics relegated the Paralympics to a “B-event”, he also took advantage of the public platform to pay tribute to Paralympic sport, saying “I’m very proud to be a Paralympian”.
And this isn’t the Blade Runner’s last shot at IAAF glory. He will still compete as part of the South African relay team before this year’s championships ends. DM
"Go down this set of stairs and then just run - run as fast as you can." ~ Lt David Brink, 9/11