Pistorius happy with medal

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iol spt june30 Pistorius Getty Images / Gallo Images Oscar Pistorius was delighted with his silver medal-winning performance at the African Athletics Championships in Benin, despite failing to qualify for the London Olympics.

Johannesburg – Oscar Pistorius was delighted with his silver medal-winning performance at the African Athletics Championships in Benin, despite failing to qualify for the London Olympics, according to his manager, Peet van Zyl.

Pistorius clocked 45.52 seconds, finishing second in the men's 400 metres final at the continental championships on Friday, and missing the Olympic qualifying standard by 0.22 seconds.

“He's very happy with the way he ran and the way the race unfolded,” Van Zyl said on Saturday.

The double amputee achieved the qualifying time, winning a provincial meeting in 45.20 in Pretoria March, but he needed to do it again in an international meeting to meet the Athletics SA (ASA) criteria.

Van Zyl believed Pistorius would dip under the 45.30 standard again before the London Games, though his dream of competing in the individual one-lap sprint in the English capital was over.

The deadline to qualify for the SA Olympic team was on Saturday.

“Obviously he's disappointed that he didn't make the 1/8qualifying 3/8 time,” Van Zyl said.

“Now I think he'll go even faster, but a deadline is a deadline.”

The 'Blade Runner' could nonetheless be selected for the country's Olympic team, set to be finalised next week, as part of the 4x400m relay squad.

Pistorius is the fastest South African in the one-lap sprint this year.

“ASA has not confirmed that a relay team will be sent to London,” Van Zyl said.

“But if they do and he's not in, it will be sacrilege.

“It will be a huge honour for him to represent South Africa in the relay.”

Pistorius, who was still to compete in the relay event in Benin over the weekend, would take part in at least two more meetings before the London Games.

“He will be running in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium, on July 7 and in Lignano, Italy, on July 17,” Van Zyl said.

“He might compete in another meeting before London, but we'll see how he feels before we make a decision.” – Sapa


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