Double-amputee sprinter Pistorius declines invitation to run

Updated: May 20, 2008, 2:55 PM ET
Associated Press

BERLIN -- Double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius declined an invitation to run the 400-meter race at Berlin's ISTAF Golden League meet, saying he wasn't ready to face the world's elite.

The South African wants to qualify for the Beijing Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Monday that his prosthetic racing blades do not give him an unfair advantage over able-bodied runners.

The 21-year-old Pistorius is scheduled to compete in a regular race on July 2 in Milan, Italy, with several following that.

"We would be happy if he competed with us, but I think we were a little early," ISTAF spokesman Juergen Scheunemann said of the June 1 event. "But our main concern was to help and support him."

Pistorius has said he might not be ready for the regular Beijing Games and a more realistic goal might be the 2012 London Olympics. His disabled world record 46.56 seconds is just shy of the 45.55 in the 400 needed to qualify for the upcoming Olympics.

He would have faced the likes of Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner at the Berlin meet.

"Oscar doesn't have the form yet to measure himself against the world's best at such a big meet," Pistorius' manager, Peet van Zyl, told Germany's Sport Bild Online magazine.

Pistorius also wants to run in the Paralympics in Beijing. He will compete in Berlin in a disabled race June 13-15.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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