Pistorius joins Jesse Owens in exclusive club after beating racehorse
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
December 12 - Oscar Pistorius tonight added another achievement to his long list by joining an exclusive club alongside the great Jesse Owens - beating a racehorse.
The 26-year-old South African finished ahead of an Arabian horse called Maserati in a race over 200 metres held in Doha as part of the "Definitely Able" campaign which is trying to highlight the positive contribution and possibilities for people living with disabilities in Qatar.
The race called "Run Like the Wind" saw Pistorius take advantage of a poor start by Maserati at the Aspire Zone outdoor circuit to triumph.
Owens used to race against horses to help earn a living after his amateur status was withdrawn following his four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, often beating them.
Horses can run at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, much faster than humans, but it takes them longer to build up momentum.
"It wasn't about who won tonight," said Pistorius, who won two gold medals and a silver in the Paralympics at London 2012.
"It was about showing people that those with disabilities are capable of doing great things."
The "Definitely Able" campaign is backed by Sasol, the globally integrated energy and chemical company.
"We are proud to partner with Sasol for the Definitely Able campaign and hope that through this initiative, we are successful in changing lives for the better," said Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, the secretary general of the Qatar Olympic Committee.
"If you believe, as we do, that sport has the power to effect real change in people's lives, Oscar Pistorius is a wonderful example of how that change can be achieved."
"Run Like the Wind" is one of a series of unique "Definitely Able" events in Qatar.
In June, Sasol brought the South African wheelchair basketball team to Qatar to compete against the Qatar handball in a special "Champs vs. Chairs" challenge.