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Fri Apr 18 16:14:13 SAST 2014

Pistorius uncomfortable with being in the blocks at Games

DAVID ISAACSON | 19 July, 2012 07:190 Comments
Oscar Pistorius of South Africa gives a thumbs-up after the men's 400 metres race at the 23rd International Athletics Meeting in Lignano Sabbiadoro July 17, 2012
Image by: Alessandro Garofalo / REUTERS

OSCAR Pistorius is happy to race first any time - except in the relay.

The double amputee, who is free to run in any leg of the 4x400m relay at the Olympic Games, has spoken out on the team race - considered one of South Africa's medal hopes in London - saying it was illogical for him to run the opening leg.

"I prefer the second, third or fourth legs because my starts aren't very good," Pistorius said after his final preparation race in Lignano on Tuesday, when, after a slow start he recovered well to finish second.

"To sacrifice me on the first leg doesn't make any sense, it's not a logical step at all to place me on the first leg if you're looking to win or perform properly."

Receiving the baton in any of the three latter legs offers him the advantage of a rolling start. "I've got a very efficient top speed. I think I'm more of an asset in the relay in the third leg."

Pistorius ran the first leg in the morning heats at the World Championships last year, but was then left out of the team for the evening final, when South Africa went on to win silver.

His expectation for the Olympics is high.

"I think a final is definitely realistic for us. We've got a great camaraderie between the South African athletes. We've known each other for six, seven years, trained at the same track, run against each other. We're more than just a group of guys from the same country, we're fierce competitors and we don't want to let each other down."

A key member is LJ van Zyl, the 400m hurdles bronze medallist at the World Championships, who has struggled to find form this season.

"Van Zyl is in great shape, he's just not running well," Pistorius explained. "I think he just needs a bit of rest. He's a great athlete with a lot of talent."

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Pistorius uncomfortable with being in the blocks at Games

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