Pistorius looking for consistency in 400 meters

Updated: July 29, 2011, 1:33 PM ET
Associated Press

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius wants to achieve consistent results below 46 seconds in the 400 meters leading up to the 2012 London Olympics.

The South African ran a personal-best 45.07 seconds in the 400 on July 19 in Lignano, Italy, qualifying for the world championships starting Aug. 27 in Daegu, South Korea.

His time in Italy was also good enough to qualify for the Olympics, but Pistorius will be expected to run similar times twice more during the first half of next year to ensure he is chosen for the South African team.

"I'm confident that I'll be in the team selection for London, but I've got a lot of work to do," Pistorius said Friday, a day before he competes in the Istvan Gyulai Memorial meet in Budapest. "It's one thing running a very quick time and another thing running a quick time consistently."

After slicing one second off his best time between 2007 and 2010, he was able to go another half second faster during the first six months of 2011 but doesn't expect to be much better in the upcoming months.

"This was only the fourth 45-second race I've run. I'd like to be able to run mid-45s consistently," Pistorius said. "I'm not going to say that I'm not going to go quicker than that, but I think it's going to be a while."

Pistorius will run the 400 on Saturday in his last race before the worlds.

Pistorius runs with carbon-fiber blades. Both legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old because he was born without shin bones.

Despite his recent success against able-bodied athletes, Pistorius said he "most definitely" would keep competing in races for disabled athletes, where he holds records in the 100, 200 and 400. He has won four gold medals at the Paralympics.

"I run 400-meter track, which is 400 meters whether I'm running in an able-bodied or disabled race," Pistorius said. "I prepare for the race the same way ... and everything is exactly the same except for the competitors, but I'm not running against the competitors, I'm running against myself."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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