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Pistorius wins thrice at paralympic meet

2 June 2008

South African double-amputee Oscar Pistorius won the 100 and 400 meter races at the Dutch Open on Sunday as he gears up for a bid to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.

Pistorius, who hopes to run the 400 at Beijing, won in 47.92 seconds at the paralympic meet, a day after coming first in the 200. Pistorius must run the 400 under 45.55 seconds to qualify for Beijing.

Pistorius later won the 100 in 11.48.

The 21-year-old won an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on May 16 that cleared him to compete alongside able-bodied competitors running on his trademark J-shaped Cheetah blades.

After winning the 200 Saturday in 22.04 -- well off his world record best of 21.58 -- Pistorius said he was just happy to be back on the track.

"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."

Pistorius plans to participate in an able-bodied race July 2 in Milan, Italy, with possibly two more thrown in before that. The Milan race will be followed by a race in Rome on July 11 and another one in Lucerne, Switzerland, five days later.

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