PtG Article 11.06.2010

Pistorius’ prosthetic blades surpass the performance of human limbs, says sports engineer

Elite Paralympic athletes should be barred from Olympic track events because advances in prosthetic technology will soon enable sprinters with artificial legs to run the 100 metres in eight seconds, Dr David James, a sports engineer at Sheffield Hallam University told the audience at the The Times Cheltenham Science Festival.

According to Dr James, the athletics body has been swayed by public and media opinion, rather than objective scientific evidence. “It’s a very raw, emotive issue, but all the science says Pistorius has a distinct advantage,” he said according to the Times Online “Whichever way you look at it, it’s not like for like.”

“It’s a matter of time before someone with powered prostheses can beat Usain Bolt,” Dr James said and predicted that the technology could enable the first forty-second 400-metre sprint as early as the 2012 Olympics. “We shouldn’t restrict ourselves to what we perceive as normal — I’m all for a disabled runner doing an eight-second 100 metres."