Pistorius hopes to improve running time at championships

Oscar Pistorius at the Olympic Park in London. (Anthony Devlin, AP)

Oscar Pistorius at the Olympic Park in London. (Anthony Devlin, AP)

Pistorius was named on Wednesday alongside former women’s 800m world champion Caster Semenya in SA’s team for the June 27-July 1 championships in Porto Novo, Benin.

SA’s qualifying window closes at the end of June and Pistorius still needs one more time of 45.30 seconds or better in the 400m at an international meet to be eligible for the Olympic team.

Pistorius clocked 47.66 to finish last at the Golden Spike in Ostrava, Czech Republic last week in his first overseas race this season. He ran 46.35 at a meet in the Netherlands on Sunday.

Road to the olympics
The 25-year-old South African also has lined up races at US Diamond League meets in Eugene, Oregon this weekend and New York on June 9 in his quest to become the first amputee to run at the Olympics.

SA’s athletics federation said 2009 world title winner Semenya, who has already posted her qualifying times for the Olympics, needed to run at the African Championships as part of her selection criteria.

The 21-year-old Semenya has never competed at a senior African Championships. Controversial gender tests on her in 2009 sidelined her for 11 months and left her no time to prepare for the 2010 continental championships in Kenya.
– Sapa-AP

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