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.