June 29 - Four-time Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has missed out on his dream of competing in the 400 metres individual event at the London 2012 Olympic Games after he failed to better the 45.30sec Olympic A qualification standard required for the event.
In his last race before the qualification deadline day tomorrow, the 25-year-old double leg amputee from Johannesburg could only manage a time of 45.52sec as he finished second at the African Championships in Benin in a result which agonising left him 0.22 outside the time he needed for the Olympics.
Pistorius (pictured above) admitted he is disappointed with the result but that he still hopes to be selected for the South African 4x400m Olympic relay team, which is widely tipped to win a medal at London 2012.
"My race today felt good and I'm pleased to have won the silver medal at the African Championships," Pistorius said.
"I am obviously disappointed that my time was just outside of the Olympic qualification time by two tenths of a second.
"I had felt very strong coming into this competition as my fitness and speed has been continually improving.
"I was in good shape to set the time and believe my speed will only increase over the next few weeks.
"I had a great early start to the season, setting the Olympic qualification time and I am hoping that there is still the opportunity for me to be selected to run for South Africa in the 4x400m relay."
It is a huge blow for Pistorius, who ran 45.20 earlier this year but was required to do so for a second time to secure a spot in the 400m individual event at the Olympics.
Pistorius made international headlines last year when he became the first amputee athlete to compete at the able-bodied World Athletics Championships in Daegu where he reached the 400m semi-final and ran as part of the South African squad that secured silver in the 4x400m relay.
But regardless of whether Pistorius is selected South African 4x400m Olympic relay team, he will definitely be appearing at London 2012 as he has already been named in the South African team for the Paralympics.
Pistorius will be looking to defend his titles in the T44 100, 200 and 400m at the Paralympics and also claim another gold medal in the South African 4x100m Paralympic relay team.
"I am also extremely excited about the Paralympic Games in London and a big focus for me will be defending my three titles as well as being part of the South African team competing for a world record in the 4x100m relay at the Paralympics," he said.
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March 2012: South African ruling means Pistorius not yet assured of London 2012 Olympic qualification
March 2012: Pistorius set for London 2012 Olympics after clocking qualifying standard