Amputee misses South African Olympic team

July 18, 2008 at 11:06 AM
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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 18 (UPI) -- Double-amputee Oscar Pistorius, who runs on prosthetic blades, has come up short in his attempt to win a spot on the South African Olympic team.

South African Olympic officials Friday released their team roster for the 2008 Games in Beijing but Pistorius, a sprinter, wasn't included.

Pistorius was born without fibulas in both legs. His legs were amputated and he was fitted with carbon fiber artificial limbs. He set records in several events at Paralympics and sought to join the main Olympic track competition.

International track officials said in January that the special artificial legs constituted "technical aids" and couldn't be used. Pistorius appealed and the Court of Arbitration ruled in his favor, allowing him to compete for the spot on the South African team.

However, his best time in the 400-meter run was 46.25 seconds, short of the Olympic qualifying time of 45.55 seconds. He could have been selected as an alternate on the 1,600-meter relay team but South African officials went with runners who had turned in faster times.

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