Tue, Jul 17, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Pistorius debut ends up a damp squib


Oscar Pistorius, left, takes part in the men's 400m on Sunday at the British Athletics Grand Prix in Sheffield.


Double-amputee Oscar Pistorius' much-anticipated debut against elite able-bodied competition fizzled out on Sunday when he placed seventh in the 400 meters in heavy rain and then was disqualified.

Pistorius, who runs with carbon fiber blades for his lower legs, finished in 47.65 seconds, well behind Angelo Taylor's winning time of 45.25 at the British Grand Prix meet. Pistorius was called for running out of his lane.

The drama was further dulled when the race's biggest name, Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner, stumbled and stopped a few meters in.

Pistorius, who is trying to convince the IAAF to let him compete at next year's Beijing Olympics, finished last of the remaining entrants.

After the race, Pistorius attacked the IAAF for making "derogatory" comments about the Paralympics.

One official was reported to have opposed Pistorius' involvement in able-bodied races on the grounds that it could pave the way for athletes to compete wearing jet-packs on their backs.

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