Shock for Oscar Pistorius' friends in London after Reeva Steenkamp is found dead

Blade Runner became a popular figure in capital after last year's historic double Games showing

As news of Oscar Pistorius' arrest on suspicion of murder reverberated around the athletics world, nowhere – nowhere apart from South Africa, naturally – was left more stunned than London. The city where the 26-year-old Blade Runner made his ground-breaking double appearance in the Olympic and Paralympic Games last year is home to one of his closest friends in athletics and to his international media agents.

Croydon Harrier Martyn Rooney has been a long-time friend and supporter of his fellow 400m runner and only returned to Britain on Sunday after spending a month training with Pistorius at the Groenkloef Campus in Stellenbosch. Rooney was too upset to comment, but on Sunday he posted on his Twitter account from South Africa: "Sad to be leaving here, a honour to train with @OscarPistorius and his team for a month."

Pistorius has been a frequent visitor to Britain in recent years and, through his appearances in the annual BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester, forged a close working relationship with Fast Track, the London-based international sports marketing agency founded by the former Olympic 400m hurdler Alan Pascoe in 1998. Since July 2011, they have handled his international media affairs and publicity.

A spokesperson for Pistorius at Fast Track's Westminster offices said: "Oscar is assisting the police with their investigation but there will be no further comment until matters become clearer."

It was announced only on Wednesday that the 2012 Olympic Stadium would be staging the London Anniversary Games in July, two days of Diamond League action featuring able-bodied athletes followed by a day dedicated to Paralympians. Pistorius would have been a prime candidate to compete in both but organisers UK Athletics had not opened negotiations to secure the appearance of the cross-over Olympic-Paralympic star.

The only events Pistorius has committed to this year are on the Australian circuit next month: the Sydney Track Classic on 9 March and the Perth Track Classic a week later. When these were announced last month, he said: "I don't even know where to begin when describing the past 12 months.

"The Olympics were phenomenal and to be lucky enough to back that up with an amazing few weeks at the Paralympic Games was out of this world. The people of London truly embraced both events."

'Shocking': Twitter reaction

Horrendous news about Oscar Pistorius and the shooting of his girlfriend. What an awful tragedy.

Jessica Ennis

Extremely sad news about Oscar Pistorius and the shooting of his girlfriend. Terrible tragedy, thoughts & prayers with you.

Phillips Idowu

Can't believe the news about Oscar Pistorius and his girlfriend

Laura Robson

Can't believe the pistorius saga has happened. sad times. its a shame some people feel its ok to make jokes about it... at the track!

Kelly Sotherton

Pistorius story gets more grim by the minute.

Gary Lineker

It's shocking to read the Oscar Pistorious story as an Englishman, shows the level of worry and crime in SA.

Danny Cipriani

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before