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Thursday, June 9, 2011
Oscar Pistorius tries new strategy in 400

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius used to try to run the second half of the 400 meters faster than the first.

On his carbon-fiber blades, he gets off to slower starts than his able-bodied competitors, so that strategy seemed to make sense.

"That's for the last three years just left me at 46 seconds," South Africa's "Blade Runner" said Thursday.

He needs a 45.25 to post the "A" qualifying time for this year's world championships. So before this season, he and his coach decided he needed to push harder on that first 200.

"He just said, 'If you want to run times that are competitive and 45 seconds, you can't be scared of that first 200. You just have to go out and work,'" Pistorius recalled.

He ran a 45.61 in March, leaving him encouraged he could shave off the final 0.36 seconds. But Pistorius got sick in late May and has been disappointed by his last few results.

He's feeling strong now and will get his next chance at Saturday's adidas Grand Prix in New York City, where the field includes 2004 Olympic 400 champ Jeremy Wariner.

Pistorius expects to have five or six more chances to reach the qualifying standard after New York. Worlds are in August in Daegu, South Korea.