Oscar Pistorius Comes In Second At Paralympics 200 Final
A lot of hype has followed "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius, 25, who is currently running in the 2012 London Paralympics and was the first Paralympian to ever compete in the Olympics events last month, but anyone is beatable, as South African Pistorius discovered when Brazilian runner Alan Oliveira overtook him in the last 20 meters of the 200m final, traditionally Pistorius’ best event. Oliveira beat his idol by a hairs breadth, clocking in at 21.45 seconds to Pistorius’ 21.52.
But Pistorius is not taking the defeat lying down, claiming that Oliveira’s “blades” (used as artificial legs in the T44 category of the Paralympian event) were too long, and should have been more closely regulated by the IPC, the International Paralympic Committee.
“We are not running a fair race here,” Pistorius told the U.K.’s Channel 4 immediately following the event. “I don’t know how you can come back, watching the replay, from eight meters behind on the 100 to win. It’s absolutely ridiculous.”
Oliveira revealed that he was disappointed when Pistorius, whom he has described as his “idol,” claimed that the victory was unfair, but he’s not backing down. “The length of my blades is all right,” Oliveira said. “I went through all the procedures with the referees. I believe Pistorius also knows that.”
The disagreement has not led Pistorius to retract his position, but he did issue an apology for speaking too soon, reports BBC. “I accept that raising these concerns immediately as I stepped off the track was wrong,” he said. “I am a proud Paralympian and believe in the fairness of sport. I am happy to work with the IPC, who obviously share these aims.”
Pistorius went on to say, “That was Alan’s moment and I would like to put on record the respect I have for him. I want to apologize for the timing of my comments but I do believe there is an issue here.”
The IPC is also taking the opportunity to defend its regulations. “The measurement is based on proportionality of the body,” said IPC communications director Craig Spence. “Clearly we don’t want athletes running on stilts. We want athletes with a running prosthesis that is in proportion to their body.”
Spence says the IPC is “more than willing to give [Pistorius] an opportunity to air his views in a non-emotional environment at a meeting to be organized at a later date.”
For more on Oscar Pistorius and the 2012 London Paralympics: