Oscar Pistorius: How South African rose to prominence

first_imgOscar Pistorius came to fame as a 17-year-old when he won gold in the T44 200m at the 2004 Athens Paralympics and has gone on to be one of the best-known figures in Paralympic sport.The South African was born without the fibulas in both of his legs, which were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old.Pistorius was just 15 when he suffered the loss of his his mother, who died from an allergic reaction to treatment for suspected malaria.She would later prove an inspiration to her son in his sporting career, which began not on the track but on the rugby field.It was a rugby injury that led him to take up athletics in 2003, and a matter of months later he made his Paralympic debut, running on prosthetic blades, known as cheetah blades, and earning himself the nickname “Blade Runner”.The boy with frizzy hair and braces created a stir, beating his more experienced single amputee rivals to gold in the 200m at the Athens Games and also taking bronze in the 100m. He proved he was a force to be reckoned with in disability sport when he won three more golds in his next major international outing, the 2006 IPC World Championships in Assen, Holland. He also set a new world record over 200m.Pistorius expressed his intention to run at the Olympics and by 2007 was competing internationally against able-bodied runners.His participation was not universally welcomed, though, with some claiming he gained an unfair advantage because of the blades. The IAAF, the body that governs athletics, was concerned enough to conduct research and eventually banned him from able-bodied competition in January 2008. Pistorius, awarded the Helen Rollason Award for courage at the 2007 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, disagreed with the verdict and went to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) to fight his case.After lengthy scientific tests, the ban was overturned in May 2008. The suspension was lifted too late for Pistorius to compete at the Beijing Olympics but he made his mark at the Paralympics that year, winning golds and setting new Paralympics records in the T44 100m and 200m as well as a world record in the 400m.The following year, he suffered head and facial injuries in a speedboat accident in South Africa and missed out on a place at the World Championships in Berlin.At the 2011 IPC World Championships in New Zealand, Pistorius suffered his first defeat over 100m since 2004 when he was beaten in a thrilling photo-finish by American Jerome Singleton.However, the South African was in superb form later that year, setting a new personal best of 45.07 seconds in Italy and gaining selection for the 2011 World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea.He reached the 400m semi-finals and also took part in a preliminary round of the 4x400m relay. South Africa eventually took bronze in that event without the help of Pistorius, who was not selected for the final. In 2012, he earned a place on the South African Olympic team and became the first double amputee to compete at the Games, running in the 400m.He made it all the way to the semi-finals, missing out on a new personal best but swapping race numbers with world champion Kirani James, and competed in the final of the 4x400m relay. He was also asked to carry the South African flag at the closing ceremony.Pistorius was one of the faces of the London Paralympics and was featured in a number of advertising campaigns ahead of the showpiece event. His sponsorship deals, including one with sportswear manufacturer Nike, are thought to be worth £1.3m a year.He won two golds and a silver at the Games but was also involved in one of the main controversies of London 2012.After being beaten by Brazil’s Alan Oliveira in the T44 200m final, he criticised the length of his rival’s blades, before apologising for the remarks.last_img read more

Monday February 4th Local Sports

first_imgTONIGHT:AM-1300 KGLO, kgloam.com, KGLO mobile app — Mason City vs. Dowling West Des Moines — girls 6:15, boys follow BRITT — Newman qualified four wrestlers while Central Springs and Lake Mills qualified seven wrestlers to the district tournament from the Class 1A sectional at Britt. Champions for Newman were Jacob McBride at 132 and Kameron Black at 152, with runners-up from Cael Wollner at 106 and Chase McCleish at 195. Lake Mills won the sectional team title with 213 points, with Central Springs finishing second with 212 points. See the full results here MASON CITY – Freshman Deundra Roberson scored 32 points to lead No. 14 NIACC to a 96-83 victory over Southwestern in an Iowa Community College Athletic Conference contest Saturday in the NIACC gym.Roberson was 11 of 22 from the field, including four of nine from 3-point range. Roberson was also six of nine from the free-throw line.Also for the Trojans, Quentin Hardrict scored 17 points, Chandler Dean scored 12 points, Wendell Matthews scored 11 points and James Harris scored 10 points.Mathews paced the Trojans with 13 rebounds.NIACC returns to action Wednesday in a conference game at Iowa Central. Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m. AMES — A quick turnaround for the Iowa State Cyclones as they visit Oklahoma tonight in the Big 12. The Cyclones are coming off a hard fought win at home against Texas that moved their league record to 6-3.That’s ISU coach Steve Prohm who likes the way the chemistry is coming around.Prohm says a key for the Cyclones as of late has been the play of senior point guard Nick Weiler-Babb.The Sooners are 3-6 in the league race. IOWA CITY — The Iowa Hawkeyes return to action Thursday with a visit to Indiana. The Hawkeyes are 6-5 in the Big Ten after a 74-59 win over fifth ranked Michigan on Friday night.That’s Iowa coach Fran McCaffery. The Hoosiers got a shot of confidence by halting a seven game losing skid with a stunning victory at sixth ranked Michigan State.Thursday’s game on AM-1300 KGLO can be heard after Newman girls tournament basketball. STATE COLLEGE, PA — The 13th ranked Iowa Hawkeye women never trailed in an 81-61 win at Penn State. Megan Gustafson poured in 30 points as the Hawkeyes improve to 8-3 in the Big Ten.That is Iowa coach Lisa Bluder who says transition defense was a key.Next up for Iowa is a home game against Michigan State on Thursday. MASON CITY – Freshman Kelcie Hale scored 25 points to lead the No. 7 NIACC women’s basketball team to a 107-72 victory over Southwestern Community College in an Iowa Community College Athletic Conference contest Saturday afternoon in the NIACC gym.Also for the Lady Trojans, Mandy Willems scored 24 points, Jada Buford scored 15 points and Alexa Loftus scored 12 points. Autam Mendez and Tahya Campbell both reached double figures with 10 points each.Willems made 2 3-point goals in Saturday’s game giving her 103 for the season, which ties her for second on the school’s single-season 3-point list with Trudy Peterson (2015-16). Jennifer Currier is the all-time single-season leader with 107 in the 1987-88 season.NIACC’s Ty’neecia Longs grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds.NIACC (17-5 overall, 8-1 in the ICCAC) returns to action Wednesday in an Iowa Community College Athletic Conference contest at Iowa Central. Game time in Fort Dodge is slated for 5:30 p.m. OSAGE — Clear Lake qualified seven wrestlers while Osage and Hampton-Dumont each qualified six to the district tournament from the Class 2A sectional wrestling tournament held in Osage on Saturday. Champions for Clear Lake were Sam Nelson at 113, Eric Faught at 132, Bryan Hillyer at 138, Dylan Kruckenberg at 182 and Kade Hambly at 220, while also qualifying as runners-up were Braxton Doebel at 152 and Thomas Gansen at 160. Osage edged Hampton-Dumont for the team title, 217 ½ points to 217, with Clear Lake finishing third. See the full results here CLARKSVILLE — North Butler-Clarksville finished second to Nashua-Plainfield in the Class 1A sectional held in Clarksville on Saturday. North Butler-Clarksville qualified six wrestlers to the district tournament, with Nashua-Plainfield qualifying four. Nashua-Plainfield had 203 points, North Butler-Clarksville had 192. See the full results herelast_img read more