Pistorius eyes 45s barrier
London - Oscar Pistorius said on Wednesday he is targeting breaking the 45-second barrier in the 400m as he prepares to become the first double amputee athlete to compete in the able-bodied Olympics.
The South African, known as 'Blade Runner' because he runs with carbon fibre prosthetic running blades, competed in the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Paralympics, but can now make his debut in the Olympics following studies that found his prosthetics give him no advantage over his able-bodied rivals.
The 25-year-old's personal best is 45.07 seconds in the 400m and now Pistorius wants to smash the 45-second barrier when he takes his place on the London 2012 track.
"I'd love to. I'm in good shape. I feel very strong. I've had a good season," he said.
"I'm really hoping to at least make the semi-final and if I can run a personal best, I'd be really, really happy.
"It hits you when you're standing on the starting blocks. At Athens and Beijing, that's when it really dawned upon me that I was there at that competition.
"If I can imagine the excitement that I've had over the last couple of weeks, I can't imagine what it's going to be like when I'm finally out there on the track."
Pistorius is set to compete in both the 400m and the 4x400m relay.
He is clear to compete on condition he uses the same prosthetic legs that have been used in Paralympic sport since 1996.
"Any improvements since I've started have not been from any aid or any changes made. They've been through hard training and a lot of sacrifice," Pistorius said.
"What I believe in is the fairness of sport... it isn't an advantage.
"One day they will be able to make a prosthetic leg - if not already - that could give an advantage.
"In my heart, I know what's right and I wouldn't be running if I had any doubt."