Current Weather
The Spy FM

Oscar Pistorius Qualifies To Run At Track World Championships

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
July 19, 2011

Oscar Pistorius, the sprinter who runs on prosthetics made from carbon fiber, has officially qualified for the World Championships in Athletics, which will be held in Daegu, South Korea.

Needing to run the 400-meter race in 45.25 seconds or quicker, Pistorius set a new personal best, at 45.07.

It’s been a good month for Pistorious — as The New York Times reported last week, he’s the face of an ad campaign for Thierry Mugler’s new fragrance.

The ads will begin to run this fall — shortly after Pistorius runs in the track and field World Championships in late August. And depending on his performance, South Africa’s Olympic team might consider putting him on the roster for the 2012 Summer Games in London.

But in early 2008, it was the perception that the J-shaped prosthetics could give Pistorius an edge that led track’s governing body to ban him from competing in track events at the Olympics and World Championships. Pistorius fought that ruling, and in May of 2008 he won the right to compete in elite events other than the Paralympic Games.

As a recent profile of the sprinter suggests, the fact that Pistorius runs on springy carbon fiber doesn’t necessarily mean that he has an advantage at the track. A recent Sports Illustrated article by David Epstein explains:

“Getting out of the blocks, you have to really lift your knees up,” Pistorius told Lampkin [Andre Lampkin, an aspiring Paralympic athlete]. “If you don’t, you’ll drag your legs along the ground.” When Pistorius ran his first 100-meter race in 2004, he had to start standing up. And because he has no ankle flexion and no toes, maintaining his balance while accelerating at the gun has been a huge challenge. In the 2004 Paralympic Games, he essentially fell out of the blocks in the 200 meters, before coming back to win. In every race he has run against able-bodied athletes, Pistorius has been the slowest out of the blocks — and he always will be.

Pistorius, 24, was born without fibulas in his legs, which were then amputated below his knees.

In 2008, Pistorius talked with NPR’s Neal Conan about the first time he ran using the carbon-fiber prosthetics, called “Cheetahs.” That’s when he realized that their lack of a heel made it difficult to balance on them — and also to stop.

“I couldn’t slow down, I didn’t know how to,” he said. “I ran straight into this wall at about, I guess, about 7 or 8 meters per second. And I took all the skin off my shoulder and my wrist. You know, I thought I’d never, ever run on these things ever again. It was extremely hard to balance, let alone use them.” [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

7PM to 8PM Folk Salad

Folk Salad

Folk Salad Hosts Richard Higgs and Scott Aycock play an eclectic mix of Folk, Singer/songwriter, Americana, Bluegrass, Blues, Red Dirt, and anything else we happen to like that week.

Listen Live Now!

8PM to 9PM For the Sake of the Song

For the Sake of the Song

Greg Johnson, owner of The Blue Door in Oklahoma City gathers the best Red Dirt musicians in the region for his show.

View the program guide!

9PM to 12AM SpyLab


Katie Wicks is our resident international superstar DJ. She hosts SpyLab, a dance mix show on Saturday nights and co-hosts the largest weekly dance party in OKC, Robotic Wednesdays. She has had two original dance songs chart in the World Top 100 Beatport charts. She has been hired to DJ in L.A., NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Portugal, Spain and Costa Rica.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center