Oscar Pistorius, the South African trying to become the first amputee runner to compete at the Olympics, failed today to qualify for the 400 meters at the London Games.
Pistorius, who runs with J-shaped carbon-fiber blades, had a time of 45.52 seconds at the African track championships in Benin. He needed to run a time of 45.30 for a second time in international competition to meet the criteria for the Olympics.
It was the 25-year-old’s last qualifying chance after running 45.20 seconds at a meet in March to get in contention for an Olympic berth.
Known as the “Blade Runner,” Pistorius was born without fibulas and had both legs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old. In 2008 the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2008 overturned a ban on him by the International Association of Athletics Federations, track and field’s ruling body, which said the blades gave him an advantage.
Pistorius has qualified to defend his Paralympics titles in the 100, 200 and 400 meters. The Olympic Games will be held July 27 to Aug. 12, with the Paralympics Games scheduled for Aug. 29 to Sept. 9 in London.