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01.09.2012 South Africa

Pistorius launches title defence with a bang

By AFP
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius competes in the men's 200m T44.  By Ian Kington (AFP)
LISTEN SEP 1, 2012
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius competes in the men's 200m T44. By Ian Kington (AFP)

LONDON (AFP) - "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius on Saturday began the defence of his three Paralympic sprint titles with a bang, breaking the world record in the T44 200m to qualify for the final.

The 25-year-old, who earned his nickname as he runs on carbon fibre prosthetics, stormed round the bend and pushed through to clock 21.30sec, just weeks after becoming the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics.

"I just wanted to come out tonight and have a good race," he told Channel 4 television. "It makes me so happy to be here. I'm happy with the time. Tomorrow's the big race (the final) and I am looking forward to it.

"To run in front of such an amazing stadium is mind-blowing."

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