Double amputee Pistorius gets 2nd place in 400m

South Africa's double amputee athlete Oscar Pistorius takes the start of the men's 400m heats at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London. Pistorius made Olympic athletics history on August 4 when he became the first double amputee to competed in an athletics event. AFP PHOTO/GABRIEL BOUYS

LONDON: South Africa's Oscar Pistorius became the first double amputee to compete on the track at an Olympic Games on Saturday, finishing second in his men's 400 meters heat with a season's best time.

Nicknamed 'Blade Runner', Pistorius races wearing carbon fibre prosthetic blades after being born without a fibula in both legs.

The 25-year-old, who is also in South Africa's 4x400 relay team, raced to huge cheers and looked comfortable throughout as he qualified for the semi-finals with a time of 45.44 seconds - beating a previous season's best of 45.52.

World junior champion Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic won the race with a time of 45.04.

In 2008, Pretoria-born Pistorius successfully appealed against an International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) decision to ban him from running in able-bodied events.





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