Olympic track officials have ruled that the South American 4×400 relay team, including Oscar Pistorius, will be advancing to the finals.
In case you’ve been living in some sort of dungeon with no electricity for the last few weeks, Oscar Pistorius is the incredibly inspiring, history-changing double-amputee from South Africa who runs on prosthetic legs. His nickname is “Blade Runner”, and some people are not digging the fact that he’s in the games at all. Even gold medalist Michael Johnson thought that his friend shouldn’t be competing in the Olympics because Pistorius did not technically qualify to compete alongside able-bodied athletes.
This case is slightly different. Turns out Pistorius’ relay teammate was knocked over by another runner, and that was why their team didn’t qualify to go to the finals.
The AP on the Huffington Post offers details:
In the opening round Thursday, a Kenyan runner collided with South Africa’s Ofentse Mogawane as he made his way around the final bend in the second leg of the race. Mogawane fell and clutched at his left shoulder as the baton rolled away.
Set to run next in the relay, Pistorius stared at the scene in disbelief. He put his hands on his head and began walking off the track, figuring his time in London was done.
When officials ruled that the Kenyan runner cut in too fast, Pistorius and his teammates were overjoyed, and Pistorius tweeted that the race was on.
After a long battle for inclusion in able-bodied competition in the individual events, Pistorius ran the 400 meters and advanced to the semifinals before finishing last in his heat.
Last week, the IAAF announced he could run any part of the 4×400 relay at the Olympics, not just the opening leg when runners have to remain in their assigned lanes for a lap.
What do you think of Oscar Pistorius’ participation in the Olympics? How about his relay team’s participation in the 4×400 relay finals?
AP Photo/ Daniel Ochoa de Olza