Hopes fade for 'Blade Runner'

OSCAR Pistorius, South Africa's double-amputee sprinter, will probably have to wait until next year to qualify for a major able-bodied event.

OSCAR Pistorius, South Africa's double-amputee sprinter, will probably have to wait until next year to qualify for a major able-bodied event.

Pistorius competed in Velletri, Italy on Saturday and finished fourth in the 400m event with a time of 47,42 sec. Michael Mathieu of Bahamas won the event in 46,81 ahead of Graham Holmes of Great Britain (46,83) and Lanceford Spence of the US (47,35).

The 22-year-old Pretoria-based athlete, who had hoped to qualify for next month's World Athletics Championships in Berlin, must rest with the reality that the 45,55 qualifying standard is out of his reach at this stage. Only more intense preparation over a longer period will help him get closer to his goal.

With no global championship in 2010 Pistorius will have to make next year's Commonwealth Games in India his next target. But he still has until August 3 to make the South African team for Berlin. - Sapa

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