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2012 Heavy Medal London
Posted at 12:56 PM ET, 05/16/2012

London 2012 Olympics: ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius is running toward Olympic history


This Sept. 9, 2008 file photo shows Oscar Pistorius of South Africa, right, crossing the finishing line ahead of Jerome Singleton of USA in the Men's 100m T44 final during the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games at the National Stadium in Beijing. (Andy Wong - AP)
The hurdles along the path to the Olympics have been numerous for South African runner Oscar Pistorius. But for a man who has lived nearly his entire life as a double-amputee, challenges are part of every-day life.

Now, after defying physical limitations and expectations at every turn around the track, Pistorius is one final race away from becoming the first amputee track and field runner to ever qualify for the Olympics.

The Associated Press has the story from Johannesburg:

After a lifetime of defying presumptions about the limits of his athletic capabilities, the double amputee needs to run the 400 meters in 45.30 seconds or quicker just once more before June 30 to be eligible for selection in the South Africa squad for the London Olympics. All of a sudden, he’s having to deal with expectations that he’ll make it.
Asked if he can picture himself in London, Pistorius admits: “I’m flirting a little bit with the idea.”
“But,” he adds quickly, “it’s not a done deal.”
If he does gain selection, the ‘Blade Runner’ — as he’s become widely known — could be as big a draw as Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps at the London Games.
He has posted two Olympic ‘A’ qualifying times, setting his personal best of 45.07 last July.
Now the South African athletics federation wants him to run the qualifying time once more before considering him eligible for the team. He has identified four races to do it: two meets in Europe and Diamond League events in Eugene, Oregon and New York.
“I’m feeling confident. I’m in better shape than I was last year,” Pistorius told the Associated Press at last month’s South African championships. “I’m lighter, I’m a little bit more experienced and hopefully that pays off and the time comes when I’m in Europe and I need to prove that I can do it again.”

Read the full story here.

More London Olympics coverage from Washington Post Sports:

U.S. sprinters Justin Gatlin, Carmelita Jeter win races in S. Korea

USA basketball roster deadline extended to July 7

USA boxing will be represented in 9 of 10 weight classes

By  |  12:56 PM ET, 05/16/2012

 
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