Championships close with rule debate raging

Sep 4, 2011, 1:25 p.m.
Gold medallist Usain Bolt of Jamaica poses during the award ceremony for the men's 200 metres final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu September 4, 2011. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

Diack had no sympathy for him either. "He has to be out... it is the rule."

It would take the hardest of hearts to not find sympathy for double-amputee Oscar Pistorius, however.

The 24-year-old was sacrificed in South Africa's pursuit of a world 4x400 relay medal, despite helping his country to a national record in the qualifying heats.

Pistorius, who runs on carbon blades having had his lower legs removed as a baby, was the first amputee to compete at the world championships.

"Pretty Guttered" was his brief response on Twitter to being dropped for the final.

At some visceral level, though, Pistorius redefined the concept of athletic achievement at these championships.

It was a pity only around 10,000 spectators witnessed him qualify for the 400 meters semi-finals, for those who did were rewarded with a memorable mental postcard.

Memorable, too, was the "cover curse" which lurked around the athletes' village until it was broken by Sally Pearson.

The Australian danced a jig on the cover of the world championships' program after winning the 100 meters hurdles gold. Pearson had been the cover star Saturday and therefore supposedly subject to the Daegu curse, which meant the featured athlete has failed to win their event in seven out of the eight days of the championships.

Despite claiming such names as Bolt, Robles and pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva, it disappeared into the ether as the event wound to a close.

Bolt's face filled the front page of Sunday's program. With a world record performance, he once again had the final say.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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