|[Published: Wednesday May 22 2013]
Oscar Pistorius pulls out 2013 competition
Pretoria, 22 May - (ANA - Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius will not compete again this year as he awaits trial for murder. Pistorius, 26, is on bail after being charged with the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp but can compete before his court case is heard.
His agent, Peet van Zyl, said the six-time Paralympic champion was not mentally ready to return to the track. "There was never any pressure from me or his coach (Ampie Louw) to return, it's his decision," said van Zyl.
Oscar Pistorius factfile
• Pistorius had his lower legs amputated at the age of 11 months, having been born without a fibula in either leg
• His parents, Henke and Sheila, were advised that having the amputation done before he had learned to walk would be less traumatic
• By the age of two, Pistorius had his first pair of prosthetic legs
• He played water polo and rugby in secondary school. He also played cricket, tennis, took part in triathlons and Olympic club wrestling and was an enthusiastic boxer
• In June 2003, he shattered his knee playing rugby and on the advice of doctors took up track running to aid his rehabilitation
• Pistorius has won six Paralympic gold medals
It means the South African will not compete in the IPC World Championships in Lyon in July. Pistorius was arrested after shooting Steenkamp dead on 14 February and has not competed since. The double amputee, known as Blade Runner because of the carbon fibre prosthetic blades he races in, claimed he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar and has denied murder.
On 22 February, Pistorius was granted bail and had certain conditions lifted which meant he could compete in events outside his homeland. Coach Louw was quoted by Eye Witness News in South Africa as saying his athlete was "nowhere close" to being in a position to train.
Pistorius had not been invited to compete in July's London Anniversary Games, with UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner saying he did not want the meeting to turn into a "media circus". However, Pistorius's agent said plenty of meeting organisers had been in touch to invite Pistorius to compete in their events.
"[There] were a good number, enough to keep him busy through the year," added van Zyl. At London 2012, Pistorius became the first double amputee to run at an Olympics, taking part in both the 400m and 4x400m relay. He then won gold medals in the T44 400m and T42-46 4x100m at the Paralympics, as well as silver in the T44 200m.
He is next due in court on 4 June and a trial is expected to take place before the end of this year. (ANA)
FA/ANA/22 May 2013---------