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Oscar finishes prep
- Updated: July 18, 2012
Olympics and Paralympics bound double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius finished second in a 400-metre race in Italy on Tuesday, his final tune-up for the London Olympics.
Associated Press reports that Pistorius clocked 46.56 seconds ÔÇô well off the personal best of 45.07 seconds he ran at the same meet last year ÔÇô to finish behind Calvin Smith of the United States. Smith won in 45.52.
“My time wasn’t among the best. But I’m good physically and mentally,” Pistorius said. “I’ve used a lot of energy in these past few days, both in training and with the media because of my participation in the Olympics. The race went well, I felt fine, I just lost a bit of acceleration halfway through.”
Pistorius will become the first amputee track athlete to compete at the Olympics after being selected by South Africa to run in London. He’s set to compete in the individual 400 and the 4x400m relay, although the team hasn’t decided which leg he will run.
“I’d prefer to run the third leg, that would be the best,” Pistorius said. “But the first one could be fine. The relay is really my race. I’ve always done team sports.”
Pistorius won last year’s race in Lignano to qualify for the world championships. This time, he finished ahead of four other runners, including Jamaicans Ricardo Cunningham and Javere Bell.
“I could have done the same time as last year, but I didn’t want to run the risk of getting injured,” Pistorius said. “It wasn’t important to test my speed today. It was like training, in the next two weeks I will try to do my best before London. I’m sure I can beat my personal best. The Olympics pushes me so much, that will make me run better.”