By Tom Degun at the Main Press Centre on the Olympic Park in London

Oscar Pistorius_18-07-12July 18 - Four-time Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has said he is looking to make the 400 metre semi-final at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Although the 25-year-old double leg amputee did not make the South African Olympic Confederation (SASCOC) selection criteria for the Olympics, he was still picked by them for the Games.

It comes after Pistorius (pictured above) became the first amputee athlete to compete at the able-bodied World Athletics Championships last year 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.

Pistorius says he is now looking to emulate his performance in Daegu by reaching at least the 400m semi-final at the Olympics.

"I did that in Daegu in the World Championships last year but in the semi-final there, I did not post a time that I was very happy with and I finished last," Pistorius told

"I think a realistic goal and a tough goal would be for me to finish in a better position in the semi.

"If I can make the semi-final and run close to my personal best, I will be very happy with that."

South Africas_first_leg_runner_Oscar_Pistorius_R_hands_the_baton_to_South_Africas_Ofentse_Mogawane_2R_as_Germanys_Jonas_Plass_2L_hands_off_to_Germanys_Kamghe_Gaba_18-07-12Pistorius (right) hands the baton to South Africa's Ofentse Mogawane in the men's 4x400m relay heats at the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu

Pistorius, however, is less confident of repeating the silver medal at the Olympics he won with the South Africa 4x400m relay team in Daegu.

"It would be lovely, but the relay team is a little bit different to what we had last year," he said

"Some of the guys have been struggling a bit with injuries so we will go in with a fair set of challenges, but I know that they have got a lot of heart."

The South African admitted it has been a hard few months for him as he chased the Olympic qualification, but is now delighted to have finally been selected.

"Not making the qualification criteria of the SASCOC was pretty tough and really, I was in limbo," he said.

"You never know which way it is going to go and I was very lucky.

"I think I was downplaying it quite a lot because I did not want myself to be disappointed but now that SASCOC has backed me and shown that they believe in me, it has added a little bit of pressure.

"But regardless of what external pressure there is, I always give my best on the day so I hope that in London I will just have a clear mind.

"I know if I enjoy it and I run a relaxed race, I will run quick."

South African_double_amputee_athlete_Oscar_Pistorius_gives_a_press_conference_on_July_6_2012_on_the_eve_of_the_KBC-Nacht_athletics_meeting_in_Hasselt_18-07-12Pistorius gives a press conference on the eve of the KBC-Nacht athletics meeting in Hasselt

But despite qualifying for the London 2012 Olympics, Pistorius feels he could be even faster at Rio 2016.

"I think 2016 in Rio de Janeiro will be where I will be at my pinnacle as a sprinter," he said.

"Most sprinters peak between 27 and 29 and I will be 29 in Rio so hopefully I can work towards that and I am as keen and as excited as I have ever been.

"Maybe after that I will start looking at throwing in the towel, but I want to end on a high.

"We can shake on producing better results in Rio, but hopefully there are some pinnacles of my career in London as well."

Pistorius added that he hopes the publicity surrounding him competing in the Olympics will help increase interest in the Paralympics.

Oscar Pistorius_of_South_Africa_wins_Gold_with_a_World_Record_in_the_400m_T44_during_day_10_of_the_2008_Beijing_Paralympic_Games_18-07-12Pistorius wins gold with a world record in the 400m T44 at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics

"I hope that my presence in the Olympics will definitely draw attention to the Paralympics," he said.

"I started my first Paralympics in 2004 and the difference I saw between 2004 and 2008 was unbelievable and, if I look at already how much attention the London Paralympic Games has got, it is amazing.

"I will be trying to defend my titles (in the T44 100m, 200m and 400m) but the level of professionalism has definitely stepped up in the Paralympic amputee sprints among the guys that have specialised in the 100m so, being an athlete, that has focused on the 400 in the last five or six years, I have dropped 11 kilograms since 2008, so I have lost a lot of power to be more efficient for the 400.

"So my work is definitely cut out for me in the 100 but it is still a title – I have still got the world record there and it will be a blessing for me to run against some of the world's best.

"As they say, in the final, on a good day, it is anybody's game so I will still go there with my A game and hopefully my experience pays off."

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