Durban - Four-time Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius insists he is not over-working himself in what is expected to the toughest year in his prospering career as he bids to become the first amputee to compete on the track at the Olympic Games.
The 25-year-old sprinter turned out at the National Championships for the Physically Disabled in Durban this week, participating in three races in two days, and withdrawing from a fourth due to a blister on his leg.
“Every athlete has different ways to prepare,” Pistorius said after his final race of the championships.
“If you look at some international athletes, they run more races in an Olympic year to gain confidence.
“I believe in gaining confidence and you can only gain that by running races, so for me it’s about jumping on the circuit and banging out some good races.
“You know if the races don’t go well then you learn from them.
"I’d rather have that than to get to a competition where I’m not confident enough in my ability and my condition.”
Pistorius took part in the Gauteng North provincial championships in Pretoria two weeks ago, clocking 45.20 seconds in an able-bodied 400 metres race and dipping 0.10 seconds inside the qualifying time for the London Olympics.
He will compete at the national senior championships in Port Elizabeth next month before travelling abroad for the start of the European season, where he needs one more qualifying time to be eligible for Olympic selection.
Things did not all go his way in Durban this week as he suffered a rare defeat in the 100m, won the 200m and was disqualified for a late change-over in the 100m relay. He then withdrew from the men's 400m event.
“We used this week as a good training week and running in air this dense is a challenge, but you get the same challenges when you are in Europe,” Pistorius said.
“So although this may not physically be the most demanding week, it’s mentally very good and helps sharpen you up.
“You may take it for granted, but every race you run, you learn something.”
Pistorius believed he was on course in his bid to make history in London, after reaching the semi-finals at last year's able-bodied global championships in Daegu.
“I’ve still got a bit of work, but I’m confident of getting there,” he said.
“In athletics it is not about working hard and achieving a goal, it's about working hard every single day, and we've still got 122 days until the Games.
“Every day’s been planned and calculated. There’s work needed to be done before that.”