The Blade Runner

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  • Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #13222

    Oscar Pistorius has recently gained a lot of attention not only for his amazing athletic feats but also for how he is achieving them. You see, Oscar is a double amputee who is the world record holder for the paralympic 100m, 200m, and 400m sprints. Recently he ran in an open (non-paralympic) 400m race in Rome and came in 2nd. He has run times of 10.91; 21.58; and 46.56.Today, he ran in Sheffield a

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    Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #67978

    IAAF recently overturned their decision to let Oscar and others in his situation run against non-paralympic athletes. They have however recently started conducted secret tests to see if his legs provide him with an unfair advantage. What do you think?

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    gdelia928 on #65590

    i think hes a good runner adn maybe he would be on the scene if he wasn't a double amputee but carbon fiber is significantly lighter than a human leg which gives him an advantage in the final 200 when everyone is struggling to lift for the finish and as the technology gets better his times will drop

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    mortac8 on #65591

    Recently overturned their decision?  He ran today in Sheffield.

    I think it would be awesome if they let him run and it turns out he was sandbagging all along and runs 42.  Clearly his kryptonite is rain.

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    wisconman on #65592

    I read in a SI mag a while ago about how a double amputee, I'm not sure if it was Oscar Pristorius, got legs that made him about six foot six while he was really only about six foot one, when he had legs. I know this wouldn't really help in a 100m, but in a 200 or a four hundred especially it wouldn't it give you a big stride advantage? 

    Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #65593

    Recently overturned their decision?  He ran today in Sheffield.

    Yep…he (and all other paralympic athletes) was banned until a couple months.

    I think it would be awesome if they let him run and it turns out he was sandbagging all along and runs 42.  Clearly his kryptonite is rain.

    If you look at his PR distribution he definitely gets significantly more competitive the higher the distance. He might be able to run a really fast 800m.

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    Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #65594

    One thing to consider is that the issue is bigger than Oscar. While the current prosthetics may only level the playing field (or maybe not even that) it's only a matter of time until prosthetic technology does become a big advantage, perhaps more so than PEDs.

    Also, another argument is allowing able bodies and disable athletes to compete together is that it has the potential to belittle other paralympians, 99.99% of whom could never dream of competing with the able-bodied but are nonetheless great athletes and competitors in their own sub-category of track.

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    davan on #65595

    He had a reaction time of >.4–think that maybe his prosthetics don't let him start efficiently enough to run the shorter races? I imagine part of the reaction time is that he is not even able to apply enough pressure onto the blocks to register a reaction with the prosthetics (at least, not register a reaction as fast as able bodied athletes).

    Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #65596

    He had a reaction time of >.4–think that maybe his prosthetics don't let him start efficiently enough to run the shorter races? I imagine part of the reaction time is that he is not even able to apply enough pressure onto the blocks to register a reaction with the prosthetics (at least, not register a reaction as fast as able bodied athletes).

    I didn't realize that and it's certainly part of the equation but also look at how fast he closes in all of his races….it's amazing. Either he is AMAZING race distribution or the legs somehow reduce the affect of fatigue. He may be slow to get going but once he gets going he keeps going.

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    Nick Newman
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    Nick Newman on #65597

    this guy does not have an advantage in any sense… he does not have lower limbs!!

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    mortac8 on #65598

    No advantage?  That is 'to be determined'.  In one interview he said he just started training 400m for about 8 months and was "obliterating records".  Why can't everyone in the wheelchair 100m get those limbs?  Maybe IAAF just letting him run to stir up some interest in the sport. 

    Nick Newman
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    Nick Newman on #65599

    i just cant see it…i mean…i dunno do i.

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    mortac8 on #65600

    Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #65601

    From the AP today:

    IAAF: Pistorius' prosthetic legs provide less air resistance

    LONDON — The prosthetic legs double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius uses provide less air resistance than normal legs, the IAAF said Monday.

    Pistorius, who wears curved, carbon-fiber prosthetic legs, finished second in Rome on Friday and last against elite able-bodied athlete at the British Grand Prix on Sunday. He hopes to compete at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    The International Association of Athletic Federations has been reviewing footage from two high-definition cameras that filmed Pistorius in Rome to determine if his prosthetic racing legs give him an unfair advantage.

    "The guy Oscar beat on Friday — the stride length was the same, but the speed through the air was slower for the able-bodied guy," IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said. "This research makes us want to do more."

    Davies said the initial research also showed the way Pistorius distributed energy was virtually the opposite to able-bodied runners. And unlike able-bodied runners, Pistorius was faster at the end of the race instead of the beginning.

    Pistorius ran 46.90 seconds in Rome. But in his first race against an elite field on Sunday in Sheffield, England, he finished last (47.65) in heavy rain and was disqualified for running outside his lane.

    Oscar Pistorius finished with a time of 47.65 seconds in the 400 meters at the British Grand Prix meet and then was disqualified.

    Pistorius has set world records in the 100, 200 and 400 in Paralympic events. To make next year's Olympics, Pistorius would have to run a 46.3 before the July 2008 qualifying deadline.

    The IAAF introduced a rule in March banning any runner deemed to benefit from artificial help from competing, but Davies said that was not necessarily meant to include athletes like Pistorius.

    "Maybe he's overreacting over certain things. He seems to think that we've banned him then decided he was eligible," Davies said. "We clarified the situation. No one has banned him. We want to give him the benefit of the doubt."

    Davies also said the IAAF was not discriminating against disabled athletes, citing legally blind runner Marla Runyan of the United States, who competed in the 1,500 at the 2000 Olympics and in the 5,000 in Athens four years later.

    "We need to separate emotion from the science," Davies said. "We all wish him well. The point here is what's going to happen in 10 years? What happens if it continues to evolve?"

    Davies said the IAAF's research was being overseen by director of development Elio Locatelli, who is a former chief coach of the Italian athletics team, and the governing body of the sport hoped to work with Pistorius in the biomechanics department of the Cologne-based German Sport University.

    Pistorius was born without fibulas — the long, thin outer bone between the knee and ankle — and was 11 months old when his legs were amputated below the knee.

    He began running four years ago to treat a rugby injury, and nine months later won the 200 at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.

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    gdelia928 on #65602

    i think its easy to see why his race is distrubuted in negative splits, getting out of the blocks with prosthetics has gotta be hard and with those he would be better off once he could increase his stride length.

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