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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Tradewind Recruitment: KS2 Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee