London, July 19 : An amputee sprinter, who's nicknamed the "Blade Runner", has failed in his bid to qualify for this summer's Olympics in Beijing, after South Africa's athletics federation left his name off its 1600-metre relay team today.
According to a report in new Scientist, Oscar Pistorius, who runs with the aid of carbon-fibre prosthetic legs, ran his best ever 400-metre time, but his 46.25 seconds fell short of the 45.55 second minimum needed to qualify for Beijing.
His failure to qualify, though not surprising, marks a turn of events.
In May, the Court of Arbitration for Sport repudiated a previous judgement by International Association of Athletic Federations that Pistorius' carbon-fibre blades - called Cheetahs - offered an unfair advantage over able-bodied sprinters, calling into question the validity of previous tests.
An analysis led by biomechanist Peter Weyand, of Rice University in Houston, Texas, and other scientists determined that Pistorius ran no more efficiently than other elite athletes and previous claims that his Cheetahs returned extra energy could not be proven.
But the legal battle may have taken its toll on Pistorius.
"The poor guy's been fighting this for six month instead of training," Weyand told New Scientist after the tests results were announced.
However, Pistorius has said that he is happy with his season's achievements despite missing out. He now plans to work towards qualifying for the 2012 Olympics in London.