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Oscar into IPC 100m final

The 200m gold medal safely in his clutches, Oscar Pistorius turned his attention to his toughest event, the 100-metre sprint at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand on Tuesday.

And the Bladerunner will be more than happy with his day as he emerged from the first round of heats as the fastest qualifier in the T43/T44 category.

He clocked 11.33 seconds for the dash, edging out arch-rival Jerome Singleton of the US in the qualifying stakes as the two slugged it out in the first of three heats. Singleton, the biggest single threat to the Bladerunner in Wednesday’s final, ran 11.35 for his season’s best.

Pistorius defeated Singleton by 0.03secs at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 and the American says he has improved dramatically since then. ÔÇ£He (Pistorius) had better be ready tomorrow because I just cruised the last 50m,ÔÇØ Singleton told the IPC website at the conclusion of the race.

Pistorius was somewhat more circumspect, acknowledging the American’s explosive start. ÔÇ£I did not make a good start today but got into my stride very quickly. It’s going to be a great race,ÔÇØ he said.

Arnu Fourie, Pistorius’s SA teammate, also went through safely to the final, timed at 11.41sec. Fourie had won bronze behind Pistorius in the men’s 200m final on Monday.

Singleton’s fellow American, Blake Leeper, had been talked up as another huge threat to Pistorius but his 11.63 for third place in the last heat on Tuesday doesn’t put him quite in the same league as Pistorius and Co.