Paralympics 100m: Oscar Pistorius says past experience vital

Oscar Pistorius believes his Paralympic experience will be key when it comes to the 100m final at this year's Games.

The South African double amputee sprinter was beaten to gold by American Jerome Singleton at last year's World Championships in New Zealand.

Their re-match on Thursday 6 September is one of the most keenly anticipated races at the Games.

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I'm thankful that at this time, amputee sprinting has gone to a whole new level

Jerome Singleton Paralympic gold medallist

"I have experience from previous Games in Beijing and Athens and I think that counts a lot," said Pistorius.

"I hope it works in my favour because I know the 100m will be a challenge. In Athens I came third by eight-hundredths of a second, in Beijing I won gold by three-hundredths of a second," he told BBC Sport.

"The 100m has never been a sure bet and it is nobody's medal until you cross the line.

"The event is unbelievably close and unbelievably challenging, and I won't be so self-assured going into that race.

"There are three or four guys who I have kept my eye on - not only Jerome but also my compatriot Arnu Fourie, who has posted one of the fastest times so far this year."

With 100 days to go to the start of the 2012 Paralympics, Pistorius, who will be competing at the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester on Tuesday, has a busy schedule as he hopes to defend his three Paralympic titles in London and also qualify for the 400m at the Olympics.

The 25-year-old, who reached the semi-finals of the 400m at last year's World Championships in Daegu and was also part of the 4x400m relay team which won silver though he missed out on the final, needs to run the A qualifying standard again.

After Manchester he will travel to the Czech Republic to race in Ostrava before the Diamond League meetings in Prefontaine, Oregon and New York as he bids to achieve the 45.30s qualifying time for a second time this year.

Oscar Pistorius facts

  • Was born without fibula on both legs and had legs amputated when he was 11 months old.
  • Played rugby union and only switched to track athletics after a rugby injury.
  • Has won four Paralympic golds - one in Athens (200m) and three in Beijing (100, 200 and 400m).

"I've been preparing for the Olympics for five years and I missed Beijing by a quarter of a second, so that is something I really want to achieve, and to run at the Paralympics afterwards is really something special and I am just as excited for that," he added.

"I have the 4x100m relay for the first time at the Paralympics which is probably one of the most exciting things for me.

"I find relays unbelievably fun, especially the 4x100, and South Africa ran at the Worlds last year and won with very little practice, but we have a strong team and gold is a goal for us."

Singleton, who won a surprise silver four years ago in addition to 4x100m relay gold, said he was happy to be part of a golden era of amputee sprinting and is relishing the rivalry with Pistorius.

"Of course Oscar is like a twin brother who you just want to beat at things, but I'm happy for him and I respect all my competitors for what they do," he said.

"But when it comes to rivalry, that's always been in sport - Muhammad Ali had George Foreman, Magic Johnson had Larry Bird and now Oscar Pistorius has Jerome Singleton or maybe it should be the the other way around as I am the world champion.

"It is something that is very big and I'm happy to be part of it and I'm thankful that at this time, amputee sprinting has gone to a whole new level."