Oscar Pistorius of South Africa prepares for his race in the Men's 400m Round 1 heat on Day 8 of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Oscar Pistorius of South Africa prepares for his race in the Men's 400m Round 1 heat on Day 8 of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Julia Vynokurova / Getty Images

Pistorius strides into history

IT WAS only a morning 400-metre heat but Oscar Pistorius took a giant stride into Olympic history on Saturday, becoming the first double-amputee runner to compete in the Olympics.

In front of another full 80,000-seat stadium for a qualifying session, the South African cut through the mild morning sunshine on his carbon-fiber blades to reach the semifinals with a second-place finish after a strong second half to his race.

His time of 45.44 seconds was important enough, but didn't quite match the proclamation from the stadium announcer at the start "This is Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius" which marked his entry into the Olympics.

At first he had to fight the international athletics federation for the right to compete in able-bodied races and, since then, he has been facing critics who still say his artificial legs give him an unfair edge at the Olympics.

"I've worked for six years ... to get my chance," Pistorius said. "I found myself smiling in the starting blocks."

Read more at the NZ Herald



How you can get your greenslip refund

How you can get your greenslip refund

NORTH Coast residents will be soon get their CTP refunds

WE'RE FOR YOU: DEX pace quickens as weekend nears

WE'RE FOR YOU: DEX pace quickens as weekend nears

The Friday and Saturday editions just mean DEX journos go faster.

Relief for students after HSC change

Relief for students after HSC change

HSC now within reach for all students after amendment

Local Partners