Pistorius wins silver medal at African Championships

Jocelyn McLennan Roar Pro

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    South African Oscar Pistorius has won the silver medal in the final of the men’s 400 metres at the African Championships in Porto Nova, Benin.

    This the first medal ever won by a disabled athlete in international able-bodied competition. Isaac Makwala won the gold in 45.25, making it a double for the country, with world champion Amantle Montsho taking the women’s title in 49.54.

    Although Pistorius tweeted that he was delighted with the medal, his time of 45.52 was .22 outside posting the second 45.30 needed to make the South African team for the individual event in London.

    The Blade Runner, as he is known, posted his first A qualifier in Pretoria earlier in the year, but has not been able to repeat the performance before the July 2 deadline. However, his London Olympic dream may still survive in the 4 x 400 metre relay.

    This is the event, though, that has caused the most controversy about him competing against able-bodied athletes. The IAAF may choose to restrict him to running in the first leg only, as some athletes have raised concerns that his instability on his blades may trip up other runners in the push and shove of the baton change.

    Should that be the case, then his name may rival Usain Bolt as a drawcard in London, as the debate around giving him permission to compete continues.

    South Africa will probably announce their team early this week after the conclusion of the championships tonight in Benin. Pistorius will have an anxious wait to find whether his Olympic campaign is restricted to the Paralympics.

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • Roar Guru

      July 2nd 2012 @ 3:10pm
      zacbrygel said | July 2nd 2012 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

      Let him run. Why should he not be able to run the Olympics, yet anyone else can?

    • July 2nd 2012 @ 11:13pm
      Steve said | July 2nd 2012 @ 11:13pm | ! Report

      Without doubting the man’s ability and determination, even his bravery, it isn’t entirely unreasonable for there to be concerns regarding safety and the precedent set by allowing prosthetics/ mechanical aids of any sort. There isn’t much of a precedent, and all sorts of controversies and problems could arise. I’m not saying he shouldn’t run, far from it, but I do see why his case needs to be treated as a special one.

    • July 5th 2012 @ 3:52am
      Matty said | July 5th 2012 @ 3:52am | ! Report

      I dont understand why Pistorius is able to compete with ‘able bodied’ athletes in the first place. You have the South African runner who had a sex change and now compete with females and now you have another South African with prosthetics and wanting to run with able bodied runners

      I dont know what the rules and regulations of the IAAF and IOC but they certainly need to clear things up on what is defined as an ‘able bodied athlete’. Surely you wouldn’t want someone in a wheel chair running along with able bodied athletes in a 1500m race. Theres a reason why they created the paralympics to identify these athletes and provide them an opportunity to take part in a global event. Not to move back and fourth as the like between the Olympics and paralympics.

    • Roar Pro

      July 5th 2012 @ 12:26pm
      Jocelyn McLennan said | July 5th 2012 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

      It appears this story has gone viral with the announcment overnight that South Africa have chosen Oscar for the individual 400m as well as the realy. It appears I may broken the story…nice to see some of my writing being lifted for other outlets!

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