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'Blade Runner' Pistorius buoyant after Daegu breakthrough

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Pistorius on Championship experience
  • South African talks to CNN's Don Riddell about his experience in Daegu
  • The 24-year-old looking to qualify for next year's Olympics in London
  • Pistorius and IAAF enjoy good relationship despite previous battles, he says

(CNN) -- "I think it was more than I hoped for and a little bit more," double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius told CNN when asked about his historic appearance at the recent world athletics championships in Daegu, South Korea.

"One of my goals I had going into the competition was I wanted to know I had tried my best and gain as much experience as I possibly could."

The South African came away with a silver medal in the 4x400 meter relay to back up a strong showing in the individual 400m, clocking the second fastest time of his career in the heats before being knocked out in the semifinals.

Despite his well publicized battles with the IAAF, global athletics' governing body, over his right to run in able-bodied races, the 24-year-old said there was no animosity between him and the organization.

"Sometimes it's been misconceived that we're up in arms with each other, but we've actually got a really good relationship," he said.

Nevertheless, their decision to restrict him to running only the opening leg of the 4x400m relay -- through fear the prosthetic blades he races on might endanger other athletes during changeovers -- clearly remains a source of mild puzzlement for Pistorius.

I'm friends with Tani Grey-Thompson. Maybe she was caught off guard a bit
--Oscar Pistorius

"I've run many different legs in the 4x400m relay in the past without any incidents," he said. "So that's something we'll have to look at in the future."

There was further confusion when Pistorius was dropped for the final of the 4x400m relay after he had helped them progress to the final.

The official line from the South African team was that he ran the slowest split in the semi-final. But, as Pistorius points out, the opening lap of the 4x400m is always going to be the slowest because you start from the blocks, whereas the other three runners get a rolling start.

"I'm not sure what the reasoning was behind that. But the team management decided and I had to respect their decision. I was just very happy to be part of the team," he said.

Pistorius' next aim is the 2012 Olympic Games in London, after he ran a time within the qualification parameters for the quadrennial event in July.

"I feel that the condition and knowledge that I gained from Korea will definitely help me achieve those times in the first half of next season," he said.

He will, of course, be lining up for the Paralympics as well, despite the protestations of British Paralympics champion Tanni Grey-Thompson, who argues Pistorius should not be allowed to compete in both games on the basis that it would turn the 400m Paralympics event into a "B final." But Pistorius is unfazed.

"I'm friends with Tanni Grey-Thompson. Maybe she was caught off guard a bit. For me there is always a space for Paralympics sport. I've always been a very proud Paralympian."

It also serves as a platform, he said, to educate people about disabilities -- something he's always done without hesitation.

"I can't wait to run in next year's games. I still feel there's a lot of recognition that Paralympics athletes deserve that they are not getting. I've got great competitors. There's no way I'd give up the chance to run with them."