Double-amputee one race away from qualifying for Olympics

Oscar Pistorius could become the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympics this summer in London. The double-amputee advanced to the 400-meter final at the South African Championships but fell short of qualifying to the Olympics by two seconds. Pistorius ran the 400 meters in 47.28 seconds finishing seventh in windy conditions.

The South African Track and Field Association requires Olympians to run the 400 meters in under 45.3 seconds. Pistorius is the only South African runner to have one qualifying run, finishing the 400 meters in 45.20 last month and has until June to qualify for the 2012 Games.

Pistorius was born with congenital absence of the fibula in both legs, which were amputated when he was only 11 months old. It was until 2004 that Pistorius began running after a knee injury from rugby.

Nicknamed Blade Runner, Pistorius remains hopeful for London. “I’m flirting a little bit with the idea,” Pistorius told The Associated Press. “The team still has to get selected. My job is just to work hard until then and prove I’m in the right condition to be quite a strong 400 meter athlete if I get called up.”

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