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Page last updated at 13:31 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008 14:31 UK

Paralympic challengers: Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius

Four years ago, 17-year-old Oscar Pistorius came to the Athens Paralympics as an unknown and left as a gold medallist and 200m world record holder.

The man dubbed "the fastest man on no legs" or "Blade Runner" was born without fibulas and had his legs amputated below the knee aged 11 months.

But he has refused to let that stop him, taking up running in January 2004 after a rugby injury.

As well as his Paralympic success, he triumphed over 400m in the able-bodied South African championships and won three golds in the T44 100, 200 and 400m at the 2006 Paralympic World Championships.

He also holds the world records in the three events, although in Beijing he will be up against the likes of Britain's Ian Jones and his old rivals from the US, Marlon Shirley and Brian Frasure.

Earlier this year he was banned from able-bodied competition by the IAAF, but the decision was later overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Pistorius tried to make the qualifying time for the Olympics but failed. He finds himself at the Paralympics as one of the best-known figures in disability sport.



see also
Pistorius fails to make Olympics
18 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Paralympics on the BBC
25 Aug 08 |  Paralympics

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