Pistorius misses out on Games qualification time
(Reuters) - Double amputee Oscar Pistorius missed out on Olympic qualification by 0.22 seconds in his final 400 meters qualifying run at the African athletics championships in Porto Novo on Friday.
Pistorius, who competes wearing carbon fiber prosthetic blades, needed to run the A qualifying time of 45.30 seconds but placed second in the 400 final in a time of 45.52.
South Africa's Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee had set June 30 as the cut-off point for athletes to qualify for the Games so the African championships had been slated as Pistorius' last chance to ensure his place.
"My race today felt good and I'm pleased to have won the silver medal at the African Championships," Pistorious said in a statement.
"I am obviously disappointed that my time was just outside of the Olympic qualification time by two tenths of a second, I had felt very strong coming into this competition as my fitness and speed has been continually improving.
"I was in good shape to set the time and believe my speed will only increase over the next few weeks. I had a great early start to the season, setting the Olympic qualification time and I am hoping that there is still the opportunity for me to be selected to run for South Africa in the 4x400m relay.
"I am also extremely excited about the Paralympic Games in London and a big focus for me will be defending my three titles as well as being part of the South African team competing for a world record in the 4x100m relay."
Pistorius was chasing his dream of becoming the first double-amputee to compete on the track at an Olympics.
The 25-year-old achieved the 'A' qualifying time when he clocked 45.20 in March but Athletics South Africa (ASA) requires its athletes to go under the time twice, with one of them being at an international meet. Continued...