Oscar’s Aussie tour is off

2013-02-16 19:22

Oscar Pistorius won’t participate in the Qantas Australian Athletics Tour, his agent, Peet van Zyl, has said.

“No tour,” said Van Zyl in reply to a City Press enquiry on the “Blade Runners” planned meetings in Australia next month.

The Paralympic sprint icon was arrested in connection with the shooting and killing of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, on Thursday.

He is set to appear in court again on Tuesday for a bail application.

Pistorius (26) was confirmed to race in two 400m races at the Sydney and Perth Track Classic series on March 9 and 16, respectively.

The season-opening meets have attracted other international athletes, most of whom competed at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London last year.

Tickets of the two events have been selling faster since the announcement by Athletics Australia in December that the Paralympic 400m champion will run in their back yard.

“Oscar is the first international starter to be named for the Qantas Australian Athletics Tour and we couldn’t have asked for a better first announcement. His name is synonymous with athletics across the world and we are very excited to welcome him,” said Dallas O’Brien, Athletics Australia chief executive, at the time of the announcement.

Pistorius was also looking forward to race Down Under, saying: “It is going to provide a fantastic boost to my preparation for my 2013 season.

“I plan to be in pretty solid form when I arrive and it would be great to start my season in style at the meet.

“I’ve been told that my race in Perth coincides with the Australian Junior Champs as well. It’s great to know that I will be competing at a time when so many possible future stars are going to be in town. I hope we encourage those youngsters to put everything into their sport, keep pushing the boundaries to be your best, because making sure that the next generation comes through is so important for athletics.”

But this week’s shooting incident has scuppered his trip Down Under.

» Additional information: www.athletics.com.au

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