EMMELOORD, Netherlands (AP) Oscar Pistorius dipped across the finish line and his J-shaped carbon-fiber racing prosthetics finally came to a standstill.
The race had been almost too good to be true.
The double-amputee was running competitively again and embarking on his bid to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.
"It was kind of surreal," Pistorius said after winning the 200 meters at the Dutch Open for paralympic athletes Saturday.
His time of 22.04 seconds was well off his paralympic world record of 21.58, but the 21-year-old South African couldn't help but smile.
"Red track, green grass and blue skies," Pistorius marveled. "Compared to the white walls of the (testing) institute or the dark woods of a courtroom, it is not the same."
The race opened a new chapter after months of uncertainty.
A study of his racing blades the Cheetah prosthetics he competes on found they give him a mechanical advantage, but his legal challenges culminated in a ruling on May 16 that overturned a ban on Pistorius running alongside able-bodied competitors.
Pistorius, who also holds the paralympic world records in the 100 and 400, is trying to qualify in the 400 for Beijing. To do so, he will have to lower his personal best from 46.34 to 45.55, the Olympic qualifying standard.