Olympics 2012

Oscar books semi-final spot

2012-08-04 11:46
Oscar Pistorius (AP)
London - South Africa's Oscar Pistorius became the first double amputee to compete on the track at an Olympic Games on Saturday, finishing second in his men's 400m heat with a season's best time.

Video: Oscar Pistorius - Men's 400m Round 1 Heats

Nicknamed 'Blade Runner', Pistorius races wearing carbon fibre prosthetic blades after being born without a fibula in both legs.

The 25-year-old, who is also in South Africa's 4x400 relay team, raced to huge cheers and looked comfortable throughout as he qualified for the semi-finals with a time of 45.44 seconds - beating a previous season's best of 45.52.

World junior champion Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic won the race with a time of 45.04.

In 2008, Pretoria-born Pistorius successfully appealed against an International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) decision to ban him from running in able-bodied events.

Meanwhile, South African track cyclist Bernard Esterhuizen qualified for the men's sprint event, where he was defeated by German rider Robert Forstemann, who eliminated the South African from the event, bringing an end to Esterhuizen's Olympic sprint campaign after the first round.

Gillian Sanders completed the women's triathlon final in a time of two hours, two minutes and 28 seconds (2:02:28), leaving her in 19th position, nearly three minutes behind Swiss winner Nicola Spirig (1:59:48).

Fellow South African athlete Kate Roberts finished behind Sanders in 22nd place in a time of 2:02:46.

The South African women's hockey team will also have to be content with a bottom-half finish to their Olympic campaign after losing 1-0 to Australia in their penultimate Pool B contest in London on Saturday.

The loss ensured South Africa would not be able to compete for a semi-final place as they remained winless after four games and in danger of losing all their pool games at the London Games.

They conclude their campaign against the US on Monday.

Read more on:    olympics 2012  |  oscar pistorius  |  athletics
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