Ready, set, go: Oscar Pistorius makes history in 400m heats Photo: AFP
Oscar Pistorius second in 400m heats as he becomes first double amputee to compete in the Olympics
Oscar Pistorius has broken new ground with every stride of his carbon-fibre blades, but the most precious steps of all were the ones that took him into the London Olympic Stadium on Saturday morning.
The South African has collected four Paralympic gold medals and a world championship silver medal in an inspirational career, but the title that mattered most was that of Olympian.
On Saturday morning, at 10.31am, he earned the right to use it. Pistorius appeared in the first heat of the 400m and qualified for Sunday night’s semi-final, which is the limit of his ambition in London, but he has already redefined the notion of “taking part”.
Emerging onto the track under the cover of Jessica Ennis’s appearance in the long jump, he bounced onto the track and joined his competitors
for the start of the opening heat of the men’s 400m.
It took a moment for the crowd to notice that the man in lane six was different to his rivals. Only when he essayed a start and sprung from his blocks to jog the first bend did the penny drop that the ‘blade runner’ was in the building.