Oscar Pistorius finished last in his men’s 400-meter semifinal today at the 2012 London Olympics, a result that eliminates him from medal contention on the Summer Games track – for now.
The 25-year-old South African sprinter, the first double-amputee to compete in the Summer Games, is to run the 4x400 relay on Thursday.
Although he started well in the second heat, Pistorius couldn’t keep pace and finished in 46.54 seconds today in London at Olympic Stadium.
Kirani James of Grenada won the heat in 44.59, and then asked Pistorius to exchange running bibs at the finishing area.
James is the world champion.
“Oscar is someone I respect,” James said Saturday, The New York Times reported. “He’s just another one of the guys to me.”
Pistorius’s run to the Olympics has generated international headlines.
Doctors amputated his legs below the knee when he was 11 months old because of a birth defect.
A four-time Paralympic gold-medal winner, Pistorius fought the IAAF for the right to run at the Olympics.
Critics said his carbon-fiber prosthetics, which gave rise to the nickname The Blade Runner, give him an unfair advantage.
On Saturday, he qualified for the semifinals by finishing second in his heat with a 45.44 time.
“I was so nervous this morning,” he said on Saturday. “Thanks to everyone for showing their support. I didn’t know whether to cry, I had a mixture of emotions. It was the most amazing experience.”
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