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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 20 August, 2014

Blade Runner in combative mood ahead of World Championships

Oscar Pistorius has hit back at critics of his qualification for the 2011 Daegu World Championships, claiming Science supports his right to compete.

Pistorius in action during last week's Diamond League meet at Crystal Palace.
Pistorius in action during last week's Diamond League meet at Crystal Palace.
Image: Tom Hevezi/AP/Press Association Images

THE CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING Oscar Pistorius’ qualification for this summer’s Athletics World Championships in Daegu, Korea, looks only set to intesify over the coming weeks.

Speaking to the Daily Mail’s Jonathan McEvoy ahead of his elite-level debut, the South African Paralympian dismissed critics of his carbon fibre “blades” as “people who are commenting for personal gain or to make a name for themselves or to be controversial.”

“I know my opinion is right because I have sat with some of the top guys in the world… They have studied biomechanics and kinetics more than any other guys in the world.”

Pistorius, nicknamed “Blade Runner” on account of his distinctive prosthetics,  seemed to be speaking largely in response to the comments of the Dr. Ross Tucker, a lecturer with the University of Cape Town’s Sports Science department, who last week claimed the sprinter’s successful appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the legal decision that cleared him to compete against able-bodied athletes, amounted to little more than a “farce.”

Either an inspirational figure or dangerous interloper, depending on your point-of-view, the South African has drawn criticism, a great deal of it ill-informed, throughout his athletic career. Now, with Daegu beckoning, he’s finally grown tired of the distraction:

“It’s like you interviewing an able-bodied sprinter and asking him if his pair of shoes make him great. He spends half his life saying, ‘It’s not my shoes; it’s my training’.

“I’m training s*** hard. And if my shoes are so great, why are other Paralympians not running the times I am?”

Pistorius, who has seen his times tumble in recent months, will compete in the 400m at the World Championships.

Read Jonathan McEvoy’s full interview with Oscar Pistorius in the Daily Mail>

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