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Wondering Wanderer!, South Korea

Saturday, 27 August 2011

The Blade Runner

The 2011 World Athletics Championships is happening right here in Daegu, and living in Siji just ten minutes walk from the cool 'World Cup Stadium,' I naturally wanted to grab some tickets and get a slice of the action. Today I witnessed some impressive performances...Isinbayeva in the women's Pole Vault (& lots of skimpy shorts), some speedy men's110m  hurdles led by Dayron Robles, a few slightly uninspiring shot putters, and some plucky displays by the well supported Korean athletes. But by far the highlight of the morning was witnessing the amazing Oscar Pistorius...The Blade Runner.

Oscar speeding down the back straight this morning
This guy is a double amputee and runs on carbon fibre artificial legs. Today he qualified for the semi-finals, finishing third in his heat with a time a little over 45 seconds. To even walk around is courageous for this 25 year old South African, yet to compete against and challenge able bodied guys is simply incredible. Prior to the Beijing Olympics the powers that be ruled that his artificial limbs handed him an unfair advantage, and thus he couldn't compete. However after scientists deemed that he didn't in fact gain any extra speed from them, he was cleared to compete. Having just set a personal best time of 45:07, he qualified to compete at these games, and to see him cruising by us in a flash was amazing. Next time you have aching legs or sore feet, spare a thought for 'The Blade Runner,' this guy is inspirational.
I took this shot live at the games this morning...of the big, huge screen