Double amputee Pistorius, known as the 'Blade Runner' due to the prosthetic carbon fibre limbs he uses, thought his chances of appearing solo in the Games have ended when he finished 0.22seconds short of the Olympic ‘A’
standard in the Africa Championships on Friday. But the 25-year-old’s fortunes took a dramatic turn for the better today when he was first named in his country’s 4x400m team and was later promoted to the individual race as well.
Pistorius, who will also defend his titles in the 100m, 200m and 400m at the Paralympics, received the news when the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee announced the final 13 names in a travelling squad that now numbers 125.
Pistorius had already clocked an ‘A’ standard time in domestic competition earlier this year but was unable to reach the mark again in an international meeting, as stipulated by the national federation’s qualifying rules.
Needing a time of 45.30secs in Benin on Friday, he managed 45.52s in his second-placed finish.
Reflecting on his selection, Pistorius said: “Today is truly one of the proudest days of my life. To have been selected to represent Team South Africa at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the individual 400m and the 4x400m relay is a real honour and I am so pleased that years of hard work, determination and sacrifice have all come together.
“I have run two Olympic ‘A’ standard times over the past 12 months and, with the time I ran at the African Championships last week, I know my speed and fitness are constantly improving so that I will peak in time for the Olympics.
“I am also hugely excited to then be competing to defend my three Paralympic titles at the Paralympic Games. I believe we will see some amazing times posted and I am very much looking forward to what will be an incredible Olympics and Paralympics.”
Pistorius has already made history by competing at the 2011 Daegu World Athletics Championships. He was part of the 4x400m team there, but was left out when they won silver in the final. Pistorius was banned from competing alongside able-bodied athletes just before the 2008 Olympics. However, IAAF’s ruling that his blades gave him an unfair advantage, was later overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).