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New challenge for Pistorius

BRUSSELS - Double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius wants to prove before the London Olympics that he can run any leg of a 4x400 relay and should not be held back by concerns that his carbon fibre blades will injure other athletes running in a pack.

South Africa agreed to let Pistorius run only the opening leg of the relay at the world championships in Daegu and he was left off the South African quartet that won silver in the final early this month.

Pistorius ran the lead-off leg in the semifinals, helping set a South African record, and received a medal as a team member even though he missed the final.

Pistorius is convinced he would stand a better chance of making the top South African relay team if he were allowed to run any of the four legs, especially since he set the second-best time of all South Africans this season.

"Ultimately I'd be better utilised or more efficient at the second or third position during the relay," he said on Tuesday in Brussels, where he will run in the individual 400m in tomorrow's Van Damme Memorial meet.

Pistorius is known for a slower start out of the blocks and he would benefit from a running relay exchange later in the race.

At the world championships, the South African federation chose him only for the lead-off leg since letting him run in the pack would have prompted a technical safety review.

"It was four, five days before the relays. It was not a time to start arguing then," Pistorius said.

Now, he has plenty of time before next year to make his point.