5 Aug 2012

Amputee makes Olympic history

1:30 am on 5 August 2012

South Africa's Oscar Pistorius has become the first double amputee to compete on the track at an Olympic Games, qualifying for the men's 400 metre semi-final.

Pistorius, who has been nicknamed 'Blade Runner', was born without a fibula in both legs and races wearing carbon fibre prosthetic blades.

The 25-year-old raced to huge cheers and looked comfortable throughout as he qualified for the semi-finals with a time of 45.44 seconds, Reuters reports.

His time beat a previous season's best of 45.52.

Pistorius says he was on the verge of tears after the race.

"It was the most amazing experience, the crowd was amazing. I saw the South African flag... Just the experience of being here is a dream come true."

In 2008, Pistorius successfully appealed against an International Amateur Athletics Federation decision to ban him from running in able-bodied events.

He is also competing in South Africa's 4x400 metre relay team.