Oscar Pistorius of South Africa became the first amputee to compete on the track at an Olympics, finishing second in his 400-meter heat Saturday to advance to the next round.

Pistorius, a double-amputee who runs on carbon-fiber blades, circled the oval in 45.44 seconds good enough for second place in his heat and a berth in the semifinals on Sunday night.

Pistorius waged a long fight to run in the Olympics against able-bodied opponents and finally got that chance on a sunny morning in front of a sellout crowd at Olympic Stadium.

Pistorius was born without fibulas and his legs were amputated below the knee before he was a year old.

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