Pistorius primed to make history

It was early in 2007 that Tom Hanks declared an interest in acquiring the film rights to Oscar Pistorius' life story.

Since then, Pistorius' quest to appear on the big stage of an able-bodied major championship has seemed like a Forrest Gump saga but, at around 3.15am British time tomorrow, the South African amputee will finally get to line up against the world's best 400m runners in the heats at the World Championships in Daegu.

The 24-year-old does so with controversy still raging in some quarters about whether or not he gains an unfair advantage from the carbon-fibre blades he uses. "There have been a couple of people that have been ill-formed commenting about it," said Pistorius, whose legs were amputated below the knee when he was aged 11 months. "Scientists and industry leaders agree there is no net advantage from the prosthetic legs.

"I have had to go through a lot of tests to prove that I don't have an advantage. I really do believe in the purity of sport or I wouldn't be here. For me, it was an important thing to make sure I don't have an advantage. Integrity of the sport comes first and foremost."

In 2007, the International Association of Athletics Federations introduced a rule banning the use of "any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or any element that provides a user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device". However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport overruled the world governing body of track and field, allowing Pistorius to compete in mainstream events.

Yesterday, at a packed press conference in Daegu, Michael Johnson, the 400m world record holder, gave his public backing to the young man from Pretoria. "I've been clear about my position from the very beginning,"Johnson said. "I'm supportive of Oscar because the rules state that he cancompete."

At the same time, the IAAF announced that Pistorius can compete in the 4 x 400m relay in Daegu, but only if he runs the first leg for South Africa. "This person is a particular case," IAAF president Lamine Diack said. "Wedecided to let him take part in the World Championships and we will see what the result will be. The only thing we said to the South African federation is that if he wants to run in the relay he must run the first leg to avoid danger to other athletes."

Pick Of Weekend Action

Today, 12.05pm, (all Channel 4)

Olympic champion and former world champion Christine Ohuruogu goes in the women's 400m heats.

Today, 1.45pm

Usain Bolt, Dwain Chambers and Marlon Devonish compete in the men's 100m heats. Justin Gatlin returns after a doping ban.

Tomorrow, 3.15am

Oscar Pistorius – the first amputee athlete to participate in the World Championships – goes in the men's 400m heats.

Tomorrow, 11.30am

Mo Farah takes on the unbeaten Kenenisa Bekele in the men's 10,000m final.

Tomorrow, 12.45pm

Usain Bolt is once again the odds-on favourite to win gold in the men's 100m final, but there are several Brits looking to grab a medal.

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
News
i100
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
News
Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
Arts and Entertainment
A shared vision: Cerys Matthews has been familiarising herself with Dylan Thomas’s material, for a revealing radio programme
arts + entsA singer, her uncle and a special relationship with Dylan Thomas
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SSRS Report Developer - Urgent Contract - London - £300pd

£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...

KS1 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

HR Business Partner - Essex - £39,000 plus benefits

£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster