Pistorius sets world record in 200M heats

Last Updated 02 September 2012, 18:40 IST

South Africa's Oscar Pistorius began his London Paralympic campaign in scintillating fashion as he smashed the 200 metres T44 world record in his heat on Saturday.

Pistorius ran 21.30, shaving more than half a second off the previous record set by Brazilian Alan Fonteles Cardoso Oliveira in an earlier heat.

The 25-year-old, who is dubbed the 'Blade Runner', is defending the 100M, 200M and 400M Paralympic titles he won in Beijing four years ago.

Pistorius, who wears carbon fibre prosthetic blades after he was born without a fibula in both legs, became the first double amputee to run in the Olympics, where he made the 400 metres semifinals.

"I'm so happy to be back here This crowd is as awesome as they were a couple of weeks ago. I'm happy with the time and tomorrow is the big race and I am looking forward to that," he told Britain's ‘Channel 4’.

"To be out here representing our country in such an amazing stadium is so amazing."
Pistorius, who was roared around the Olympic stadium by a passionate London crowd, is now the hot favourite to clinch 200M gold.

His scorching time has given him confidence that he might be able to complete the clean sweep as he did in China four years ago, although he admits the 100M is where he will face his stiffest test.

He ran his first 100M in 16 months in Warsaw recently and put in a good performance, but he knows his competitors are now more finely tuned than ever. "A world record tonight so we will see what happens, but the 100M is not my event," he added.

(Published 02 September 2012, 17:12 IST)

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