Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pistorius Falls below Olympic Standard

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pistorius Falls below Olympic Standard

Article excerpt

This weekend's Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., provided a preview of next month's track and field events in London, including South African double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius. His 46.86 second finish in Saturday's 400 meters was well below the Olympic "A" standard of 45.30. He needs to reach that mark in an international meet before June 30 for the South African athletics federation to consider him for the Olympics.

In a 200-meter race that was supposed to be tight, possibly even down to the wire, American sprinter Allyson Felix breezed away from the field, easily beating training partner Jeneba Tarmoh and crushing her main rival Carmelita Jeter.

Felix's time of 22.23 seconds wasn't spectacular, but her performance was impressive. Meanwhile, American Justin Gatlin held off Jamaican Nickel Ashmeade in the 100.

"Right now, it's all about putting together a great, sound race," Gatlin said.

Athletics Kenya elected to hold its Olympic trials at the Classic to take advantage of the low altitude. Wilson Kiprop, 25, won the 10,000 meters in a world-leading time of 27 minutes, 1.98 seconds, nearly 25 seconds ahead of his personal best.

Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang nearly tied the world record for the 110 meters, but his 12.87 second finish was wind-aided by a slight margin.

Sports = strange bedfellows

Relations between Venezuela and the United States have been strained, to say the least. But when it comes to sports, animosities have a way of being bridged, tensions have a way of being eased.

Case in point: This past week, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - - however jokingly -- raised the possibility of teaming with President Barack Obama to lobby for baseball and softball to be brought back to the Olympics.

Chavez made the remark during a televised speech, saying he's sorry the two sports won't be played at the London Games. …

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