Oscar Pistorius takes a leap closer to competing at both Olympics and Paralympics for South Africa
For the man that considers his abilities more important than his disabilities his hopes to compete for his country, South Africa at both the Olympics and Paralympics have recently taken a leap closer.
During the recent Provincial Championships Gauteng North the four times Paralympic champion, Oscar Pistorius succeeded in winning his 400m race in 45.20sec bringing it inside the International Association of Athletics Federations qualifying standard of 45.30.
Despite this success it has been a long journey for the athlete to become even eligible to run alongside his non-disabled counterparts. Fighting legal battles and taking part in numerous scientific tests to prove that his prosthetic limbs provided no advantage.
Albeit too late for training to begin for the Beijing Olympics in May 2008 it was finally confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport that this was not the case and enabled the pathway for Pistorius to compete at able-bodied events.
The vigour of the journey for Pistorius has been exciting for those involved, and IWAS is proud to say that its very own ethos for providing a pathway for athletes within the Paralympic movement has played a small but significant part. The IWAS Games Programme provides the recognised steps towards the Paralympic Qualification stage, and the IWAS World Junior Games in South Africa in April 2007 was where Pistorius achieved his current personal best for the 100m completing the race in 10.91sec.
The IWAS World Junior Games are held annually and provide the platform for younger athletes to achieve an understanding of a multi-sport arena. It offers the unique Games environment for the athletes to experience teamwork and knowledge. The IWAS World Junior Games offers a strong start in their ultimate objective of working towards the Paralympic Games.
The IWAS family would like to wish Oscar Pistorius every success in the London 2012 Paralympic where he will be running in the T44 100m, 200m and 400m. And of course we extend that wish to his hopes to be racing in the 400m and 4x400m team relay at the Olympics. This decision is now in the hands of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee who are expected to confirm his selection.