On Sunday evening, the biggest upset of the 2012 Paralympic games occurred when Oscar Pistorius, affectionately known as ‘Blade Runner’, was beaten in the T44 200 metres final.
Alan Fonteles Oliveira outpaced Pistorius down the back straight to win the race in 21.45 seconds, finishing just ahead of the South African who was second with 21.52. But, after the race, the silver medalist caused a stir when he told Channel 4 that “We are not running in a fair race here.”
“I don’t know how you can come back, watching the replay, from eight metres behind on the 100 to win. It’s absolutely ridiculous.”
Pistorius has accused Oliveira’s blades of being too long and believes that the International Paralympic Committee should address the issue of their length to even out the playing field.
The double amputee stunned the world just a few short weeks ago when he competed in the 2012 Olympics as part of South Africa’s 4x400m relay team and as a solo competitor in the 400m too.
Oliveira stopped short of criticising his competitor whilst also defending his blades, stating:
“The length of my blades is all right. I went through all the procedures with the referees. I believe Pistorius knows that.”
“He is not a bad loser, he is a great athlete. I am just sad he said my blades were too big. For me, he is a really great idol and to hear that from a great idol is difficult.”
On Monday morning, however, Pistorius, looking to quell the tide of disdain towards his initial reaction, released a press statement that reads:
“I would never want to detract from another athlete’s moment of triumph and I want to apologise for the timing of my comments after yesterday’s race.”
“I do believe that there is an issue here and I welcome the opportunity to discuss with the IPC but I accept that raising these concerns immediately as I stepped off the track was wrong.”
“That was Alan’s moment and I would like to put on record the respect I have for him”
Pistorius will also compete in the 100m, 400m and 4x100m relay at this year’s Paralympic games.