Blade Runner looks ahead to Rio Games

Oscar Pistorius hopes his participation in the able-bodied Olympics will raise the profile of the Paralympic Games in London in August.(Gallo)

Oscar Pistorius hopes his participation in the able-bodied Olympics will raise the profile of the Paralympic Games in London in August.(Gallo)

Pistorius, who will compete in the 400 metres and 4x400m relay events in his Olympic debut next month, told the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation he would not consider retirement until he had another shot at the able-bodied Games in four years' time.

"I think 2016 in Rio de Janeiro will be where I will be at my pinnacle as a sprinter," the 25-year-old double amputee told laureus.com.

"Most sprinters peak between 27 and 29, and I will be 29 in Rio, so hopefully I can work towards that and I am as keen and as excited as I have ever been.

"Maybe after that I will start looking at throwing in the towel but I want to end on a high.

"We can [work] on producing better results in Rio, but hopefully there are some pinnacles of my career in London as well."

Pistorius, the fastest South African this year in the one-lap sprint, was always in line for a place in the relay squad for the London Games.

Failed narrowly
While he failed narrowly in his attempt to reach the stringent qualifying criteria in the individual event, the South Africa Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) chose to include him in both.

"Not making the qualification criteria of Sascoc was pretty tough. Really I was in limbo," he said.

"You never know which way it is going to go. I was very lucky.
I think I was downplaying it quite a lot, because I did not want myself to be disappointed."

The 'Blade Runner', a Laureus ambassador, hoped to reach the semifinals in the individual race in the English capital.

He made history at last year's IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, by reaching the penultimate round. He also bagged a silver medal as part of the South Africa 4x400m relay squad.

"I did that in Daegu in the World Championships last year but in the semifinal there I did not post a time that I was very happy with and I finished last," he said.

"I think a realistic goal and a tough goal would be for me to finish in a better position in the semi.

'Personal best'
"If I can make the semifinal and run close to my personal best, I will be very happy with that."

Pistorius hoped his participation in the able-bodied Olympics would help raise the profile of the Paralympic Games in London later in August.

"I hope that my presence in the Olympics will definitely draw attention to the Paralympics," he said.

"I started my first Paralympics in 2004 and the difference I saw between 2004 and 2008 was unbelievable.

"If I look at already how much attention the London Paralympic Games has got, it is amazing.

"I think it is going to be unparalleled to anything we have ever seen before." – Sapa

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