Pistorius hitting peak

2012-07-14 19:30

Daniel Mothowagae speaks to Oscar ‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius on the Olympics, Paralympics and the never-ending debate about his prosthetics.

Do you remember the time when you said to yourself: ‘One day I will compete with able-bodied athletes on the Olympic stage’?
I have always striven to be the best athlete and make the most of my talent.

When I found out that I had been selected, it was truly one of the proudest days of my life. I am so pleased that years of hard work, determination and sacrifice have all come together.

I have a phenomenal team behind me who have helped get me here and we’ll now put everything we can into the final few weeks of preparations before the Games.

The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee says you are in Team SA purely on the 4x400m relay team selection.
I will be representing South Africa in the individual 400m and the 4x400m relay.

It really is a dream come true and it still hasn’t sunk in!

I set the qualification time for the individual 400m twice and I am so pleased this has resulted in my selection.

The debate rages on as to whether your prosthetics give you an advantage or not.
I compete on Össur-manufactured Flex-Foot Cheetah blades which have been scientifically proven to have no net advantage in performance over other athletes.

I will always compete within the boundaries that are set. It’s important to me that I compete on a level playing field.

Does being the fastest in the 400m (45.20) this season mean your season panned out the way you wished?
I had a great start to my season, running 45.20 in South Africa in March, which was within the Olympic qualifying time.

Since then I have stripped my training right back and built up my power, speed and endurance and we are looking to peaking when it matters, in London.

You were a part of the 4x400m relay team that won a silver medal and set an SA record (2:59.21) in your first competition against able-bodied athletes during the World Championships in Daegu. What is your target in London at both the Olympics and the Paralympics?
For the Olympics I am aiming to race well, work well through the rounds, post good times and maybe even a personal best time on the biggest stage of them all.

I am also hugely excited to then be competing to defend my three Paralympic titles at the Paralympic Games, as well as aiming for the gold and the world record in the 4x100m relay.

I believe we will see some amazing times and I am very much looking forward to what will be an incredible Olympics and Paralympics in London.

Where are you holding your pre-Olympic and Paralympics camps?
I will be based in Gemona, Italy. It is a lovely track which is fairly secluded and allows me space to train in the summer weather.

The support I have in the town is amazing.

How do you plan to wind down after the Olympics and the Paralympics?

I plan to take a nice relaxing holiday, eat whatever I fancy – jacket potato and steak!

I’d like to hang out with friends and just really chill.

I enjoy going away for a couple of weeks, not even taking my phone, and spending time in beautiful surroundings, fishing, being with friends and forgetting about everything else.

Once I’m done I will be back in training and looking ahead to the next competition!

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