South Africa picks Pistorius for All Africa Games



South Africa picks Pistorius for All Africa Games Johannesburg: South Africa picked double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius for its team for the All Africa Games on Thursday, giving the runner another chance to prove himself against able-bodied athletes before the 2012 Olympics.

Pistorius will make history as the first amputee athlete to compete at a world championships in Daegu, South Korea. He'll then travel straight to the All Africa Games in Mozambique.

The 24-year-old Pistorius clocked a personal-best 45.07 in the 400 meters last month to qualify for the South African team at worlds, but still needs to qualify for the London Games to fulfill his goal of competing at the London Olympics.

Caster Semenya, the women's 800-meter champion who will defend her title at worlds, was not on the roster for the All Africa Games.

The 20-year-old Semenya was withdrawn because of her participation at the worlds, a South Africa team statement said, noting she had "international athletics commitments which clash with the Games."

The world championships start Saturday and end Sept. 4, making it difficult for athletes to compete at the All Africa Games. The games starts on Sept. 3.

South Africa also included swimmers Roland Schoeman and Cameron van der Burgh. Multiple paralympic champion Natalie du Toit was on the para-swimming team.

South Africa's participation in soccer event in Maputo is in doubt after some of the country's Premier Soccer League clubs refused to release their players for the games.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee said the national soccer association had until the end of Thursday to submit names of the players "or face expulsion from Team South Africa for the All Africa Games 2011."

South Africa finished third on the medal table at the last All Africa Games in Algiers in 2007, behind Egypt and host Algeria.

Bureau Report