Pistorius wants to prove himself in relay

Double amputee Oscar Pistorius wants to prove before the London
Olympics he can run any part of a 4×400 relay and should not be
held back by concerns his carbon fiber blades would endanger others
in the race.

South Africa agreed to let Pistorius run only the opening leg of
the relay at the world championships in South Korea, and he was
left off the quartet that won the silver medal in this month’s
final.

Pistorius was the leadoff runner leg in the semifinals, helping
set a South African record. He 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 utilized or more efficient at the
second or third position during the relay,” he said Tuesday in
Brussels, where he will run in the individual 400 meters in
Friday’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 for only the leadoff 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.

During the South African track season early next year, he said,
it will be his ”responsibility” to run different legs in several
relays as in previous years to show he is not a danger to other
runners.

After that, he will approach team officials and say: ”Look, I
have run relays this year without any incident. Would you consider
letting me run in another leg?” Pistorius said.

He said he still did not understand why the South African team
kept him out of the Daegu final even though he was his nation’s
second-fastest 400 runner this season.

”For some reason, and that is for them alone to answer, I have
no idea why they made that decision,” Pistorius said. ”In a
relay, you replace the slowest guy with the fastest guy. You don’t
replace the second fastest guy.”

He does not fault any teammates. One day after the four
finalists stood on the medal stand in Daegu, runners Ofentse
Mogawane and Willem de Beer came to Pistorius with his medal.

”They thanked me for the role I played in the semifinal,”
Pistorius said. ”That was probably the nicest gesture that they
could have made.”