Paralympics 2012 - Oscar Pistorius Erupts After Alan Oliveira Wins 200m Gold

The International Paralympic Committee maintained on Sunday night that the shock new T43/44 Paralympic 200m champion, Alan Oliveira, who b...

The International Paralympic Committee maintained on Sunday night that the shock new T43/44 Paralympic 200m champion, Alan Oliveira, who beat the poster boy Oscar Pistorius, had broken no rules.
Alan Oliveira, left, of Brazil and Oscar Pistorius of South Africa compete in the men's T43/44 200m final at the Olympic Stadium, Oscar came Second
After Oliveira stunned Pistorius in the final 30 metres of a race the South African had never lost at a major championships, Pistorius accused the Brazilian of running on blades that were too long and made the race unfair. "Not taking away from Alan's performance, he's a great athlete, but these guys are a lot taller and you can't compete [with the] stride length. You saw how far he came back. We aren't racing a fair race. I gave it my best."

Pistorius said he had been raising the issue with the IPC for "several weeks" and also named Blake Leeper, who took bronze, as another rival whose blades were too long. He said that their blades elevated their knees to four inches above their natural height and lengthened their stride patterns. Pistorius claimed their times were "ridiculous", despite the fact that the world record he set on Saturday night was 0.15 seconds faster than Oliveira's winning time of 21.45sec.
The IPC said Oliveira's blades and those of the American Leeper were well within the legal length.
A spokesman for the IPC said: "There is a rule in place regarding the length of the blades which is determined by a formula based on the height and dynamics of the athlete. All athletes were measured today prior to competition by a classifier and all were approved for competition."
Later the IPC said it would convene a meeting between Pistorius's camp and its chief medical officer, Peter van de Vliet, to discuss the South African's concerns "without the emotion of tonight's race".
A calmer Pistorius added: "I'd just like to congratulate Alan. I shook his hand outside on the track. He did a great performance tonight and I wish him the best and my focus is going to be on my upcoming races. I wasn't able to defend my title in the 200m but hopefully I'll be able to do so on the 400m and maybe, with a bit of luck, the 100m."
Oliveira, who lost his legs at the age of two months, shocked a capacity crowd when he stormed past Pistorius with 30m to go and won in 21.45sec. He said he was "disappointed" with the claims from Pistorius. Using tactics usually employed to devastating effect by the South African, Oliveira had tracked Pistorius round the bend and ran him down on the straight to win by seven-hundredths of a second amid gasps from the crowd.
Pistorius had previously praised the fact that Paralympic fields are getting stronger but he was undone by one of the young guns who are now looking to shoot him down. The South African, who is the first double amputee to compete on the track at both the Olympics and Paralympics, had appeared to be in the form of his life during a heat on Saturday night in which he broke a world record he had set in 2007. The "Blade Runner" waved to the crowd as he came out to a huge roar and a blaze of flashes but looked nervous before the start.
There was none of Usain Bolt's braggadocio or horseplay. Afterwards he appeared disbelieving. "I think Alan's a great athlete but … I run just over 10 metres per second, I don't know how you can come back, watching the replay, from eight metres behind on the 100 to win. It's absolutely ridiculous."
At the start the athletes were forced to wait in the call room for an extra half an hour as the schedule overran amid endless medal ceremonies.
Before the race Pistorius said it was "great to have rivals in the sport evolving". But his comments after being beaten did not appear to match his pre-race sentiments, as he urged the IPC to look into the issue. Just as it was the depth of talent in the 100m and 200m Olympic fields that made those races iconic, and not simply Bolt's performances in winning them, so the same is true for Pistorius's emerging rivals in the Paralympic sprints.
But instead of recognising that fact, Pistorius went on the offensive. Oliveira said he believed it was a deliberate tactic to unsettle him before the race.
"Pistorius is a great athlete. The interview when he said my blades were too big, he was bothered by the time I had in the semi-finals and wanted to get to me with this polemic. But it did not work. I don't know with whom he's picking a fight, it's not with me," he said.
"For me he is a really great idol. And to hear that coming from a really great idol is difficult."
Oliveira – who said he was inspired by his family, his girlfriend and "the whole Brazilian people" – put his victory down to training and hard work. Pistorius has long said he views the Olympic and Paralympic Games as equals. But it is the size and fervour of the crowds in London's Olympic Stadium that is proving his point. When he broke the world record in the heats on Saturday night, he brought the house down. The cheers from the Olympic Stadium mingled with those of the Aquatics Centre, where Ellie Simmonds was writing her own chapter in the history of this remarkable summer.
On Sunday, in front of another capacity crowd of 80,000 fanatical spectators, the cheers for Pistorius were – if anything – even louder. Oliveira remarked afterwards on the contrast between the huge cheers at the start for Pistorius, who has done so much already to break down the barriers between disabled and non-disabled sport, and the silence when his name was announced. It was a different story at the finish.
The night brought to mind some of the biggest evenings in the stadium during the Olympics, where anticipation of hoped-for homegrown success from David Weir mingled with the excitement of seeing a genuine global star. What they got was the biggest shock of either Games to date.
The pair will renew their rivalry in the T43/44 400m and the 100m, where they will also face the British world record holder Jonnie Peacock.
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