Amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius has set his sights on four gold medals at the National Championships for the Physically Disabled which starts in Rustenburg on Saturday.
Pistorius claimed three of South Africa's nine gold medals, in the 200m and 400m races and the 4X100m relay (with Samkelo Radebe, Arnu Fourie and Henry Roos), at the International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand in January.
However, the four-time Paralympic champion was beaten by American Jerome Singleton in a photo finish in the 100m final, and he said he hoped to bounce back in the short sprint in Rustenburg.
“I have my sights set on four golds,” Pistorius said.
“My main goal in 2011 is to reach the qualifying standard for the able-bodied World Athletics Championships in Daegu and the National Championships for the Physically Disabled is the perfect time trial.”
After missing qualification for the men's 400m event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Pistorius received clearance to compete against able-bodied athletes on the eve of the quadrennial event, but fell short again in an attempt to qualify for last year's Commonwealth Games.
“There is a year-and-a-half to go to the London Games and championships are very important to my preparation process,” he said.
“I need to put my head down and push for it. This will be the perfect stepping stone.
“I'm still very hungry and I'm looking forward to the challenge in Rustenburg.”
The national championships will be held over five days.
Seven of the eight disciplines – athletics, judo, cycling, goal ball, boccia, seven-a-side soccer and power lifting Ä will be held in Rustenburg, while the swimming events will take place in Pretoria. – Sapa