LA Times: Does amputee sprinter Pistorius have competitive edge?

Peter Weyand, an SMU associate professor of applied physiology and biomechanics, was part of a team of experts in biomechanics and physiology that conducted experiments on Oscar Pistorius. The South African bilateral amputee track athlete has made world headlines trying to qualify for races against runners with intact limbs, including the Olympics.

The team just released their full findings in the “Journal of Applied Physiology.” Some of the findin
gs were previously confidential and are being released now for the first time. The findings were presented earlier to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland in May of 2008.

Reporter Jeannine Stein of the Los Angeles Times reported July 1 on the new findings.

Excerpt:

By Jeannine Stein
Los Angeles Times
Oscar Pistorius is faster on two prosthetic legs than many are on two intact legs, which makes some people believe those legs give the South African athlete an advantage.

While controversy has been simmering about the curved “Cheetah” carbon fiber legs for some time, a new study comparing various aspects of his athletic performance with able-bodied runners sheds some light on the situation. Ultimately, however, it might also make things even muddier.

Pistorius has competed (and won medals) for years in the Paralympics, but in 2007 he ran in an international competition against able-bodied runners. That year the International Assn. of Athletics Federations placed a ban on technical devices incorporating springs, wheels or other elements that could give a benefit to the user, although it denied the ban was linked to Pistorius.

Read the full story.

Related links:
Peter Weyand
JAP Study: The fastest runner on artificial legs: different limbs, similar function?
Science Daily: Oscar Pistorius, amputee sprinter runs differently
New York Times: An amputee advantage?
Times: Oscar Pistorius to make run at London 2012
Study revives Olympic prospects for amputee sprinter
T.O. Sports: Blade runner beats the ban and his ‘Cheetahs’ are no longer ‘cheating’
AFP: ‘Bladerunner’ Pistorius wins appeal against Olympic ban
IAAF: Pistorius is eligible for IAAF competition
New York Times: Amputee ineligible for Olympic events
TIME Magazine: How Fast Can Humans Go?
Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development

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