20 March, 2007 - Published 15:51 GMT

Should Oscar be allowed to run?

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has talked to Outlook about his bid to take part in the Olympics in 2008.

Pistorius runs the 400 metres in 46.34 seconds which is only 0.8 second outside the South African Olympic qualifying time.

But what makes him unusual is that he is a double amputee and runs on a set of carbon fibre prosthetics.

Oscar Pistorius on Outlook

"I was born with a missing fibula," he said, "Obviously my parents had to make a decision and they consulted several specialists.

"The basic conclusion was that it would be the best idea to amputate both my legs just above my ankles.

"When I was 13 months old I got my first set of prosthetics."

The running prosthetics that Pistorius uses now are made from compressed carbon fibre. Extremely strong, they allow him to train and compete against able-bodied runners.

However he rejects suggestions that they give him an unfair advantage.

"The second quickest double amputee after me is running 57 seconds," he told Outlook presenter Fred Dove.

"If the legs were giving advantage, then every paralympic runner that uses these artificial feet should be running sub-50s.

"Athletes that train with me can see that it's the hours and dedication that I'm putting in and not the prosthetics."

The International Association of Athletics Federations is to decide if Pistorius is eligible for the Olympics this Spring.

What do you think? Email us at Outlook to let us know.

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