South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius apologised yesterday for the timing of his outburst after losing his T44 200m title, but insisted there was an issue with large prosthetics lengthening an amputee’s stride.
Pistorius, the star of the London 2012 Paralympics, was sensationally beaten into the silver medal position by Brazil’s Alan Oliveira on Sunday, in a result that stunned the Olympic Stadium.
The 25-year-old then hit out at the International Paralympic Committee, claiming it was not a fair race and he was at a disadvantage caused by artificial leg length, as the regulations allowed athletes to make themselves “unbelievably high”.
Pistorius is set to meet with the IPC to raise his concerns. The South African, who had both legs amputated below the knee as an infant, runs on carbon fibre blades, as does Oliveira.
“I would never want to detract from another athletes’ moment of triumph and I want to apologise for the timing of my comments after yesterday’s race,” the South African said in a statement.
“I do believe that there is an issue here and I welcome the opportunity to discuss with the IPC but I accept that raising these concerns immediately as I stepped off the track was wrong. That was Alan’s moment and I would like to put on record the respect I have for him. I am a proud Paralympian and believe in the fairness of sport. I am happy to work with the IPC who obviously share these aims.”
Pistorius hit out after his shock loss. He told Britain’s Channel 4 television: “The guys’ legs are unbelievably long.
“But these guys are a lot taller and you can’t compete with the stride length.”
Gold & silver for athlete in medal mix-up
A Ukrainian athlete who was stripped of her F35/36 discus gold after a computer error will be allowed to keep her medal but will also be awarded silver, the International Paralympic Committee said on Sunday. Mariaa Pomazan had won the first athletics gold of the Games on Friday ahead of China’s — Wu Qing and Bao Jiongyu — only to see organisers LOCOG announce later that the wrong medals were awarded. The amended result saw Pomazan and Wu swap places, with Bao relegated to fourth. IPC spokesman Craig Spence said the decision was “in the spirit of fair play”. — AFP
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