Olympics 2012

Oscar: I deserve my place

2012-07-20 15:12
Oscar Pistorius (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Oscar Pistorius says he has trained hard to earn his place in South Africa's Olympic team for the London Games.

"I know that I deserve to be in London. I have twice set the qualification time and know I can be competitive," Pistorius said ahead of the Games which start next week.

The double-amputee sprinter was initially included in the squad as a member of the 4x400 metres relay team, but the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) agreed to enter him in the individual event as well.

Pistorius is set to make history when he gets into the starting blocks in the Olympic Stadium on August 4 as the first amputee to participate in a track event at the able-bodied Games.

He said setbacks he had suffered along the way to realising his dream of competing with able-bodied athletes had only strengthened his resolve.

"I've always had the drive and ambition to go for what I believe in," he said.

"I'm dedicated to my sport and I work so hard at being the best athlete I can possibly be.

"To be included in Team South Africa for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is the culmination of years of hard work.

"Not just by me, but all the people around me, and I want to thank them and my fans for all their support."

He faced an arduous journey in his quest to be included in the SA team after dealing with the disappointment of missing out on his chance four years ago.

Pistorius had little time to set the qualifying standard for the Beijing Games after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) declared him eligible to compete against able-bodied athletes in May 2008.

Four years later, the disappointment was substituted with elation after he received the news of his inclusion while training in a gym in Gemona, Italy, on July 4.

"I was at the gym when my coach's wife came running in and told me that my manager urgently needed to talk to me and I spoke to him on the phone," Pistorius said.

"I virtually cried, I was just overwhelmed and relieved and then I received so much support from around the world. It was so humbling."

With only two weeks left before he goes head-to-head with the world's best one-lap sprinters, Pistorius said he still had to pinch himself to make sure it was not a dream.

"The news still hasn't sunk in, and I'm not sure it will, even when I'm standing in the Olympic Stadium," he said.

"I just need to remain focussed now, get my head down and use these last few weeks to prepare for what is going to be an awesome experience."

The 25-year-old said he had worked hard on his fitness and conditioning and he was confident he would be in top form at the Games.

"I am training well and will hopefully be peaking at the right time, in London," Pistorius said.

"I will push myself right up until I compete."

His plan for the Games is simple – to take it one race at a time.

"I'm looking to race consistently and run well to try and progress through the rounds," he said.

In his final race before the start of the global showpiece, he ran a pedestrian time of 46.56 seconds in Lignano, Italy, on Tuesday.

It was the same meeting where he set his personal best of 45.07 a year ago.

His performances this season have been erratic. He set his only qualifying time in the 400m at a provincial meeting in Pretoria in March, clocking 45.20.

However, Pistorius was confident he would clock some quick times at the Games.

"I know I can run in the low 45s again and I have been training hard to lower my personal best," he said.

"If it all comes together in London, I would love to make it through to at least the semifinals and perhaps break the 45-second barrier."

Read more on:    olympics 2012  |  oscar pistorius
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Mulaudzi a 'true Olympian'

2014-10-25 18:11

 

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
23 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Get fit on a budget

It’s time to throw the “I can’t afford to exercise” excuse out the window.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

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.