Pistorius a big hit in Korea
Johannesburg - Double amputee Oscar Pistorius has built up a massive fan base in the Republic of Korea, ahead of the World Championships in Daegu.
According to a Sowetan
report, "Oscar is a big name in the Republic of Korea. His photos are
splashed all over in the media,' Korean ambassador to South Africa Yoon
"He has been featured in interviews since qualifying for the
championships at a meet in Italy last month, focusing on the human
story. Oscar is a role model to many people in Korea," said Lee, adding
that 80 percent of the tickets for the championships have already been
The athlete, popularly known as "The Blade Runner", will make history
by being the first amputee to take part in the championships starting
on August 27. Pistorius, 24, qualified for the biennial championships
after clocking 45.07 seconds in the 400m at a meeting in Italy last
His time was 0.48 seconds short of the South African 400m record jointly held by Arnaud Malherbe and Hendrick Mokganyetsi.
"The people of Korea are looking forward to welcoming Oscar and many
other superstars, including Usain Bolt and Caster Semenya," continued
Pistorius first competed against able-bodied athletes in 2007 but the
IAAF amended its rules to ban the use of "any technical device that
incorporates springs, wheels or any other element that provides a user
with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device".
The IAAF said scientific research had showed Pistorius enjoyed an
advantage over able-bodied athletes and banned him from all its
competitions. But the decision was overturned by the Court of
Arbitration for Sport, making Pistorius eligible for the 2008 Beijing
Olympics but he failed to qualify.
"I have dreamt for such a long time of competing in a major
championships, this is a very proud moment in my life," Pistorius said.