Daegu: Pistorius a hit in Korea

2011-08-17 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Double amputee Oscar Pistorius has built up a massive fan base in the Republic of Korea, ahead of the World Championships in Daegu.

Said Korea’s ambassador to South Africa, Yoon Lee, “Oscar is a big name in the Republic of Korea. His photos are splashed all over in the media.”

“He has been featured in interviews since qualifying for the championships at a meet in Italy last month, focusing on the human story. Oscar is a role model to many people in Korea.”

Lee said 80% of the tickets for the championships have already been bought.

The athlete popularly known as the “Blade Runner” will make history by being the first amputee to take part in the championships starting on August 27. Pistorius (24) qualified for the biennial championships after clocking 45,07 seconds in the 400 metres at a meeting in Italy last month.

His time was 0,48 seconds short of the South African 400 metre record jointly held by Arnaud Malherbe and Hendrick Mokganyetsi.

“The people of Korea are looking forward to welcoming Oscar and many other superstars, including Usain Bolt and Caster Semenya,” said Lee.

Pistorius, who was eligible for the 2008 Beijing Olympics but failed to qualify, said, “I have dreamt for such a long time of competing in a major championships.

“This is a very proud moment in my life.”

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