Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee sprinter dubbed Blade Runner, might not compete at the London 2012 Olympics after missing the qualifying time today at the African championships in Benin.
The South African finished second in the 400-meter race with a time of 45.52 seconds, or 0.22 seconds slower than the Olympic standard.
“I am obviously disappointed that my time was just outside of the Olympic qualification time by two tenths of a second,” he said, The Associated Press reported.
Pistorius, 25, wears carbon-fiber prosthetic blades.
Born with a congenital disorder, doctors amputated both legs below the knee when he was 11 months old.
At a meet in Pretoria earlier this year, he met the Olympic standard with a time of 45.20, but he had to duplicate the feat outside his home country to compete in London, the AP said.
Pistorius – who has four gold and one bronze Paralympic medals – said he still hopes to represent South Africa in the 4x400 relay.
“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,” Pistorius said.
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President of Athletics South Africa said relay teams (chosen by coaches and team organizers) could be announced as early as July 2.
However, James Evans told Reuters that he’s not concerned about that today.
“I think the bigger story is that Oscar has won a silver medal at a continental championships,” he told Reuters.
Pistorius made history last year when he helped South Africa win a 4x400-m silver medal at the track and field championships in South Korea.
He failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics after court battles against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for the right to compete against able-bodied athletes.
Critics say his J-shaped blades give him an unfair advantage.
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