Oscar Pistorius will be allowed to compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games if he is not in jail, the International Paralympic Committee has revealed.The South African, 27, was found guilty of culpable homicide on Friday after the judge ruled he killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by mistake.Sentencing will take place on 13 October, but Pistorius could compete at Rio if he has served his sentence.”We wouldn’t stand in his way,” said IPC spokesman Craig Spence.Pistorious, nicknamed Blade Runner, won six gold medals at three Paralympic Games and made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete at the Olympics.IPC director of media and communications Spence said that the organisation’s thoughts were with the family and friends of Steenkamp. But he said the IPC would not block Pistorius if he had served his sentence and wanted to compete at Rio.”Providing he serves his sentence then he will be free to compete in IPC competitions going forward,” Spence told BBC chief sports correspondent Dan Roan.”Oscar would need to decide first whether he wanted to compete and then he would need to be selected by the South African National Paralympic Committee.”If he had served any punishment given to him before Rio then the ball would be in his court.”But former Paralympian Baroness Tanni-Grey Thompson doubts whether Pistorius would make the Games – even if he had served his punishment and was picked to represent South Africa. “He’ll have missed a chunk of time training and competing,” added the 11-time Paralympic gold medallist.”His sponsors aren’t there anymore…financially he’s in a very difficult position.”Meanwhile, IPC chief executive Xavier Gonzalez is confident Pistorius’s conviction will not harm the profile of the Paralympic movement.”The trial has had no negative impact on the Paralympic movement,” he added.”Since London and Sochi 2014 we have seen an incredible growth in all aspects of our activities and we are looking forward positively to Rio and Pyeongchang. “Oscar was a fundamental ambassador of the Paralympic movement in the period between 2008 and 2012.”Since then the Paralympic movement has many other ambassadors and many other athletes that have been recognised globally.”
KINGSTON: Danielle James of G.C. Foster College, with a time of 19:55, and Kirk Brown, with 16:04, topped this year’s staging of the Digicel 5K Imagine Run, which saw over 10,600 participants running for special needs – a vast increase over the 8,052 entrants last year – for the Night Run/Walk event that took place in downtown Kingston on Saturday night. Both James and Brown are no strangers to the winner’s podium, as James placed first in the 2013 staging, while Brown was second in the same year. Meanwhile, the other fast finishers were Tanice Barnes and Crystal Brown in the female category, with times of 20:17 and 20:43, respectively. For the male division, Oshane Archibald (16:25) and Dwayne Graham (16:44) placed second and third, respectively. In the wheelchair category, Sheldon Cox, who has represented Jamaica at the World Wheelchair Basketball Championships in the past, was first with a time of 22:18, while Paralympian Sylvia Grant clocked 28:18 to top the female category. Second- and third-place females were Cherry White (32:32) and Vinnette Green (32:45). The second- and third-place finishers in the male wheelchair segment were Marcus Banton (29:42) and Joel Brown (30:22). “Seeing the thousands of individuals lined up at the start line this year was heart-warming, humbling and very encouraging for us,” said David Butler, CEO for Digicel Jamaica. “Tonight’s turnout shows what a community can achieve when it comes together for a worthy cause.” The fourth staging of the event was in aid of 12 special-needs beneficiaries, namely the Jamaica Autism Support Association, Early Stimulation Plus, Genesis Academy, Jamaica Down’s Syndrome Foundation, The STEP Centre, Liberty Academy, Jamaica Association for the Deaf, Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities, Jamaica Society for the Blind, Mustard Seed Communities, Naz Children’s Centre and Special Olympics Jamaica.