Athletics

Pistorius gets back on track

2013-06-28 07:06
Oscar Pistorius (File)
Johannesburg - Oscar Pistorius returned to light training and was "overcome with emotion" as he pulled on his carbon fiber blades for a session at his usual practice facility on Thursday, his agent said.

Agent Peet van Zyl said on Friday he was contacted about a week ago by Pistorius, who expressed a desire to return to a regular track routine for the first time since the February 14 shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

"I think it's huge for him," said Van Zyl, who went with Pistorius to the University of Pretoria for the session. "He (Pistorius) was overcome with emotion when he put on his blades."

Pistorius described the experience as "bittersweet" to Van Zyl after the track session, the agent said, who also described Pistorius' first formal session in around five months as "really emotional."

Van Zyl said there were still no plans for Pistorius to run competitively and his return to the track involved "light stuff" that would help give Pistorius' life a routine as he awaits a murder trial for the killing of Steenkamp. Van Zyl went to the track with Pistorius while his regular coach, Ampie Louw, is away on holiday.

In television footage of the session released by Pistorius' family, the double-amputee Olympian is seen in a blue hooded sports top pulling on his blades while sitting on a chair on a sunbathed track. A bearded Pistorius does some light jogging in his blades, and then wipes his face with both hands as he walks off track.

"The actual word he used to me was bittersweet," Van Zyl said of Pistorius' training. "He can't be happy because of what's happened."

Pistorius' next court appearance is on August 19, when prosecutors may indict him and a date could be set for the start of his murder trial, possibly in September or October. Pistorius denies murder in Steenkamp's killing, saying he shot her accidentally in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day because he thought she was an intruder in his bathroom.

The 26-year-old Pistorius faces a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison if he is convicted of premeditated murder.

In a statement on Pistorius' website, his family confirmed he decided to resume running on track for a few hours a week for his own mental process.

It was "not aimed at preparing for competition," they said.

Pistorius has said he will not run competitively for the rest of 2013 while he faces a likely lengthy trial, but will run regularly on the track while his court case continues.

"His focus at this time remains entirely on the court case," the family said in the statement. "His family and those close to him have encouraged him to spend a few hours a week on the track to assist him in finding the necessary mental and emotional equilibrium to process his trauma and prepare for the trial."

Pistorius has previously been seen just once on an athletics track since Steenkamp' s death.

A March sighting at the University of Pretoria spurred speculation that he was back in training, which was denied by his family at the time, who described him then as being in "an extremely traumatized state" and not willing to contemplate training. Pistorius was photographed by a schoolgirl on a cellphone while he was walking on the same track. His family and Van Zyl said he went there only to show some Australian athletes where he usually trained. He did some light jogging, they said, but did not properly train.

He also went without the knowledge of Van Zyl or coach Louw.

Pistorius' family has talked of the multiple Paralympic champion's mental struggle to resume running, having not competed since he retained his 400 meters title at the London Paralympics last September.

They said in April that Pistorius had been out running on isolated occasions, "but each time has been very difficult and he has struggled immensely with the decision to even leave the house."

Van Zyl said Pistorius would probably train three or four times a week, but there was no pressure on him if he chose not to do a session.

"It's just to get him running again," Van Zyl said.


Read more on:    oscar pistorius  |  athletics
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Phelps had 'mush mouth'

2014-10-02 11:39

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
66 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

BASE jump off the world’s tallest building!

Watch as two guys jump off the world's tallest building!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Stand up paddler rides over shark!
Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.