Oscar Pistorius, the first amputee athlete to compete at the track and field world championships, was eliminated after finishing last in his 400-meter semifinal heat in Daegu, South Korea.
The 24-year-old South African, who runs with J-shaped carbon fiber blades, finished in 46.19 seconds, more than a second slower than his personal best. Also today, Dayron Robles of Cuba was stripped of his gold medal in the 100 meters hurdles for obstruction and 400-meter runner Amantle Montsho took Botswana’s first gold medal at the biennial championships, first held in 1983.
Pistorius was running at his first elite event since the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2008 overturned a ban on him by track and field’s ruling body. The IAAF had ruled the blades give him an advantage. He finished third in his preliminary heat yesterday to reach the semifinals.
“It has been a dream absolutely come true,” Pistorius said, according to the championship website. “I have learnt a lot and I am sure I will be able to use this experience and implement it in my races in the future.”
Pistorius was born without fibulas and had both legs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old. He had advanced to the semifinals by finishing third in a preliminary heat yesterday. He is also scheduled to run for South Africa’s team in the 4x400-meter relay.
Robles was disqualified an hour after winning the 110-meter hurdles final for obstructing China’s Liu Xiang, giving the gold medal to the U.S.’s Jason Richardson and silver to Liu. Robles touched Liu’s hand, disturbing the Chinese as he appeared set to win the race.
Richardson said he heard of the decision while speaking to reporters after the race.
“I never wanted to win on a technicality,” Richardson told Eurosport television. “But I’ve done the work to get here.”
A day after former champion and world record holder Usain Bolt was disqualified for a false start in the 100-meter final, Carmelita Jeter won the women’s version in 10.9 seconds. Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown took silver and Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago bronze.
Jeter, a bronze medalist in 2007 and 2009, told Eurosport she had to look up to the television monitor to check she had won this time.
Botswana’s Montsho held aloft her nation’s light-blue flag after holding off the U.S.’s Allyson Felix by 0.03 seconds in the women’s 400 meter final. Anastasiya Kapachinskaya of Russia took the bronze medal.
Valerie Adams of New Zealand set a championship record of 21.24 meters with her sixth and final throw as she successfully defended her women’s shot put title.
Japan’s Koji Murofushi won the men’s hammer throw title with a mark of 81.24 meters. Poland’s Pawel Wojciechowski took the men’s pole vault by clearing 5.90 meters, beating Lazaro Borges of Cuba -- who set the same mark -- to the gold medal because he had fewer failed clearances.