Pistorius crumbles at Ostrava

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Double amputee Oscar Pistorius endured a shocking start to his ongoing battle to nail qualification for the able-bodied London Olympics here on Friday. The 25-year-old South African, who runs with carbon-fibre artificial ‘blades’ and was cleared to compete at top level in 2008 when the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned a ruling by the IAAF that his blades gave him an unfair advantage, came in a sorry eighth and last in the men’s 400m. Pistorius, who had both legs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old because of a congenital condition that meant he was born without fibulae — lower leg bones, clocked 47.66sec. His time was 2.54sec off American LaShawn Merritt’s winning 45.13sec and far away from the 45.70 he needs to nail to ensure his participation at the London Games this summer. “The time was so bad!” Pistorius said. “I don’t know what to say. I can run that fast at the end of a tough training session or straight after getting up out of bed in the morning. “The start actually wasn’t that bad, but between 30 and 120 metres, there was nothing, far too slow.