boston globeBy Associated Press | July 14, 2007
ROME -- Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius warmed up for his debut in a world-class able-bodied race by finishing second in an invitational 400-meter race at the Golden Gala meet yesterday.
Pistorius charged from behind in the final straight to finish in 46.90 seconds, well off his personal best of 46.56. A double-amputee below his knees, Pistorius races on carbon fiber prostheses that resemble blades. Stefano Braciola of Italy won in 46.7.
"I am not very happy about my time, but it's still nice to be out on the track," Pistorius said. "These past three weeks have been very tiring so I guess my time was to be expected."
Pistorius, 20, has been under an intense media spotlight since he was given permission to race in able-bodied races by the International Association of Athletics Federations last month.
Tomorrow, Pistorius will run the top-tier 400 at the Norwich Union Grand Prix in Sheffield, England, in a field that includes Olympic champ Jeremy Wariner.
The 400m is a difficult race. Too long for a full sprint, too short for a long distance. 46.56 is excellent. The prothetics may or may not be an advantage.