Olympics notebook: Double amputee Oscar Pistorius set for Olympics

By Gerald Imray And Kim Chakanetsa

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, July 4 2012 11:25 p.m. MDT

FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2011 file photo, South Africa's Oscar Pistorius competes in a qualification round for the Men's 4x400m relay at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea. Double amputee Oscar Pistorius has been selected for South Africa's Olympic 4x400 relay team. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

Associated Press

Never count out Oscar Pistorius.

The "Blade Runner" will be competing in the London Olympics in his favored 400 meters, after all.

The double-amputee runner from South Africa has spent almost all his life without lower legs and his entire track career proving he's good enough to compete with the best. He now has the chance to do just that.

The 25-year-old will be running in London in both the individual 400 and the 4x400 relay — the first amputee track athlete to compete at any Games.

"Today is truly one of the proudest days of my life," Pistorius said.

While his selection for the relay team was likely, it was only a surprise last-minute turnaround by South African sports officials on Wednesday that gave Pistorius the chance to run in his favorite event at the Olympics.

BRITAIN TARGETS 47 MEDALS: Despite an injection of nearly 468 million dollars in funding and the benefits of home advantage, Britain's official medal target for the London Olympics is only one higher than its total at the Beijing Games in 2008. The host nation said Wednesday that its aim is to win at least 48 medals across at least 12 sports, adding that it was sticking to the long-held goal of finishing in the top four in the overall standings. Britain won 47 medals across 11 sports in 2008 — finishing fourth behind China, the United States and Russia.

NOAH TOO HURT TO PLAY: Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah will not play for France at the London Olympics because of a left ankle injury. It's still unclear whether San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker will make the cut after a scratch to his cornea in a fight involving singer Chris Brown and members of hip-hop star Drake's entourage in New York.

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