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‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius on South Africa Squad for Track Worlds

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Aug. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Oscar Pistorius will be the first amputee sprinter to compete at a world championship after being named in South Africa’s squad for the event in South Korea.

The 24-year-old double amputee, known as “the Blade Runner,” will be South Africa’s sole participant in the 400-meter race and the 4x400 meter relay, according to a statement on his agent’s website. The World Athletics Championships begin Aug. 27 in Daegu.

In July, Pistorius made the qualifying time for this year’s championships and the 2012 London Olympics with a personal-best of 45.07 seconds in the 400 meters in a meet in Lignano, Italy. He had to run faster than 45.25 seconds.

“I have dreamt for such a long time of competing in a major championship and this is a very proud moment in my life,” Pistorius said on the website. “It is an honor to be representing my country at such a prestigious event.”

Pistorius was born without fibulas and had both legs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old.

In May 2008, the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned a ban on his competing against able-bodied athletes. The International Association of Athletics Federations, track and field’s governing body, had ruled that his J-shaped carbon fiber blades gave him an advantage.

Caster Semenya, the 800-meter world champion, was also named to the South African squad. She was banned from competing for 11 months because of questions about her sex after she took the world title in Berlin two years ago.

Semenya set a season-best time of 1 minute 55.45 seconds with her victory at the 2009 championships, shortly after finding out that her gender had been questioned by the IAAF because of her muscular build and sudden improvement. She was cleared to compete in July 2010.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Elser in London at celser@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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