Amputee athlete Pistorius DQ’d in 400


SHEFFIELD, England (AP) – Double-amputee Oscar Pistorius’ much-anticipated debut against elite able-bodied competition fizzled Sunday when he placed seventh in the 400 meters in heavy rain and then was disqualified.

Pistorius, who runs with carbon fiber blades for his lower legs, finished in 47.65 seconds, well behind winner Angelo Taylor’s 45.25. He was called for running out of his lane.

The drama was further dulled when the race’s biggest name, Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner, stumbled and stopped a few yards in.

Pistorius, who is trying to convince the world governing body to let him compete at next year’s Beijing Olympics, finished last of the remaining seven entrants.

After the race, Pistorius attacked the IAAF for making “derogatory” comments about the Paralympics.

One official was reported to have opposed Pistorius’ involvement in able-bodied races on the grounds that it could pave the way for athletes to compete wearing jet-packs on their backs.

“It would be a lot more productive to do the testing with me rather than against me,” he said. “For a federation that size making allegations and derogatory comments about Paralympics, then the least they can do is give me the opportunity to fight my fight and work with me instead of against me. It’s pretty unprofessional the comments that they have made.”

The rain also slowed Tyson Gay in winning the 100 meters. He failed to break 10 seconds, running a 10.13 in one of his slowest victories of the year.

Pistorius, who ran in the outside lane, went faster in the second half of the race than the first 200 meters at the Don Valley Stadium.

To qualify for next year’s Beijing Olympics, the South African would have to run a 46.3 before July 2008 – and get IAAF approval. Although the loss was expected, the disqualification doesn’t help his chances of convincing the skeptical governing body that he should be allowed to compete.

In conditions closer to April than July in northern England, Gay got nowhere near the world record he wants to take from rival Asafa Powell. The 24-year-old Kentucky native won the 200 at the Athletissima Grand Prix in Switzerland on Tuesday, but hasn’t run the 100 since a 9.84 at the U.S. track and field championships last month.

“I don’t think my body was ready to run fast yet because I’ve not done any speed work for three weeks,” Gay said. “Having to go from the gun, my muscles weren’t really warmed up properly.”

Gay, who has never won a medal at a major championship, has a little more than a month to prepare for his first expected race against Powell at the world championships in Osaka, Japan. Powell has twice run 9.77.

In the 110 hurdles, world record-holder Liu Xiang won in 13.23 against a headwind, ahead of Ryan Wilson of the United States, who finished in 13.27.

Xiang said the number of Chinese fans in the crowd made it seem like running in his homeland.

Last year, Xiang ran 12.88 to break the world record he previously shared with Colin Jackson of Britain.

Wallace Spearmon won the 200 in an impressive 20.08 after surging forward in the final 50 meters to edge Usain Bolt.

“I had to dig deep but came through in the end,” Spearmon said. “You have to be very careful on a day like today – it is very easy to pull a muscle.”

World champion Allyson Felix’s 22.35 was enough for victory in the 200. Sanya Richards was second in 22.44.

World champion Michelle Perry ran 12.79 to win the women’s 100 hurdles. Carolina Kluft – unbeaten in the heptathlon in six years – finished fifth in 13.31.

Cheered by her home crowd, Nicola Sanders posted a season-best 51.01 in winning the 400. Monique Hennagan was second in 51.19.

Olympic and world 10,000 champion Kenenisa Bekele ran the 3,000 in a season-best 7:26.69 and beat Australian rival Craig Mottram.

AP-ES-07-15-07 1815EDT