Pistorius Won't Run for S. Africa

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius will not compete for South Africa at the Beijing Olympics after failing to make the roster for the 4x400-meter relay team.

Pistorius, who recently won the right to compete against able-bodied athletes in an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, failed to meet the qualifying standard in the 400 meters. He had hoped to be chosen as an alternate for the relay, but his name was not on the roster announced yesterday.

Athletics South Africa President Leonard Chuene said four other runners had faster times, and two others were chosen as alternates.

Pistorius battled the International Association of Athletics Federations for the right to run. In May, the Court of Arbitration ruled against the IAAF, saying his carbon fiber prosthetic blades did not provide an unfair advantage against able-bodied athletes.

But Pistorius fell short of the 400 qualifying time of 45.55 seconds, despite running a personal best 46.25 on Wednesday at a meet in Lucerne, Switzerland. The 21-year-old Pistorius, who said his legal battles prevented him from focusing on training, had acknowledged it might be more realistic to aim for the 2012 London Olympics.

Pistorius plans to run at the Sept. 6-17 Paralympic Games in Beijing. He holds the Paralympic world record of 46.56 in the 400.

Efforts to reach Pistorius were not immediately successful.

-- From News Services

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