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'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius qualifies for worlds with personal best in 400 meters
MILAN (AP) ' Double amputee Oscar Pistorius qualified Tuesday for the athletics world championships next month and could be on his way to the 2012 Olympics in London.
The South African clocked a personal best of 45.07 seconds in the 400 meters in the northern Italian town of Lignano on the Adriatic Sea. He needed a time of 45.25 to qualify for the worlds for the first time. The championships begin Aug. 27 in Daegu, South Korea.
The time also puts him on track to fulfill his dream of competing at the Olympics. Having achieved the "A'' qualifying time, he now only needs to be selected for the South African team.
Pistorius, known as the "Blade Runner," gained international fame when he tried to qualify for the 2008 Olympics. He had to battle a IAAF ban from competing in able-bodied races after his carbon-fiber blades were deemed an unfair advantage.
He went to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and was cleared in 2008. But the legal process took a toll on his training and he didn't come close to the qualifying time for Beijing.
"I vowed that that would never happen again," Pistorius recently told The Associated Press in South Africa.
Pistorius had his lower legs amputated when he was 11 months old, but has always been involved in sports. He competed in rugby, water polo and tennis and took up running as part of a rehabilitation program after sustaining a rugby injury.
Pistorius is the world record-holder in the 100, 200 and 400 for disabled athletes, and a multiple gold-medal winner at the Paralympics.