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Double Amputee Finishes Last, but Still Looks Forward to Beijing Olympics

Double amputee Oscar Pistorius finished last on a rain-soaked track at the British Grand Prix race, held in Sheffield on Sunday night .

He runs with carbon fibre blades attached to both legs below the knees.

To add to his discomfiture, he was also disqualified for having run outside his No. 8 lane.

He ran the 400 meters in 47.65 seconds, well off his personal best of 46.34 and his 46.90 from Friday in a fair-weather tune-up in Rome.

Thus the 20-year-old South Africans debut against the able-bodied might have been a tad disappointing for him, but he is still dreaming of competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

He called British event "a little steppingstone" and said, "I make of it that I've got a lot of training ahead of me."

Pistorius, is trying to convince the world governing body, International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to let him compete at next year's Beijing Olympics, but the body says it is still looking into whether his blades give him an advantage.

Born without fibulas, without ankles and without calf bones, he had his legs amputated at 11 months, yet played rugby as a schoolboy until an injury steered him toward running five years ago, by now using blades an Icelandic company modeled after the curvature of the legs of the cheetah.

At the Paralympics in 2004 in Athens, he won the 100, 200 and 400 meters. At the 400 tune-up in Rome, he roared from seventh to second in the final meters in a "B" race against seven Italian runners. In South Africa and elsewhere, he won the nickname "Blade Runner" and the plaudit "fastest man with no legs."

After the Sheffield race, Pistorius attacked the IAAF for making "derogatory" comments about the Paralympics.

One official was reported to have opposed Pistorius' involvement in able-bodied races on the grounds that it could pave the way for athletes to compet
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