Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee who runs on prosthetic legs below the knee, ran 45.07 seconds for 400 meters at a track meet in Lignano, Italy last night, qualifying for the world track and field championships and posting the 15th-fastest time in the world in 2011—by any runner. Pistorius, whose nickname is "blade runner" is a four-time paralympic gold medalist but has sought for years to compete among able-bodied athletes at the world championships or Olympic games. In 2007, the International Association of Athletics Federations banned Pistorius from the Olympics after ruling that his composite prostheses gave him an unfair advantage. That ruling was overturned by the International Olympic Committee, but Pistorius failed to post a qualifying time for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and did not compete. On Tuesday, he bettered the world championships qualifying standard by .18 seconds, and recorded a new personal best by more than half a second. The South African athletics federation is now likely to select Pistorius for its team to the world championships in Daegu, South Korea in August.
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