Double-amputee Oscar Pistorius will realize his dream to compete against the fastest athletes in the world in next month's World Championsips. Recently, South Africa picked the 24-year-old sprinter for their team after he shaved a half second off his 400-meter time last month at a meet in Lignano, Italy. He will compete in both the 400m and 4 x 400m event.
"I have dreamt for such a long time of competing in a major championships and this is a very proud moment in my life," Pistorius said in a statement. "It is an honour to be representing my country at such a prestigious event and I hope to do my best at the competition for South Africa."
His winning time of 45.07 seconds was well below the "A" qualifying standard time of 45.25, making it possible for him to race at the World Championships in South Korea (Aug. 27 - Sep. 4). With the time of 45.07 seconds, an ESPN article pointed out he would have placed fourth at the 2009 World Championships and fifth at the Olympics in Beijing. To be considered for a spot on the country's 2012 Olympic team, Pistorius needs to either finish another race with a time faster than 45.25 or finish among the top three sprinters in South Africa.
For those that have followed Pistorius's story, this decision is the latest high in a roller coaster affair that has included legal battles, scientific arguments, and public debates. All have admittedly drained Pistorius. At the heart of the debate is this question: Do Pistorius's synthetic legs give him an unfair competitive advantage?