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Pistorius runs again on blades at Pretoria track

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 4, 2013 at 7:53 am •  Published: April 4, 2013
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"The kids were very excited," Koekemoer told the AP. "That was the excitement, seeing a world icon in real life. It was nothing to do with his case.

"We didn't see him running around the track. He was just walking to the 100 meter end line down the final stretch. It looked like he was going to take his blades off."

The single photo, taken through the black fence and showing Pistorius walking on the far side of the track, was accompanied by a front-page story in Beeld under the headlines "Oscar is back on the track" and "In training with other athletes."

Pistorius' management team was expecting news of the athlete's run to become public, Van Zyl said, after Pistorius had told them he had visited his track with some Australian athletes on that day. Koekemoer — who was visiting with her students from their school in the eastern city of Pietermaritzburg — said there were other athletes around Pistorius when they saw him.

Neither Pistorius' coach nor his agent knew about the track visit until afterward, Van Zyl said.

But while Pistorius has not yet returned to a training routine, the agent said, his return could be any day now and the image of the world's most famous disabled athlete back on his running blades was likely to become more and more common again.

"He might get up this morning and call (coach) Ampie (Louw) and say he wants to be at the track at one o'clock," Van Zyl said. Van Zyl also said Pistorius' desire to start training again did not show disrespect to the family of Steenkamp.

Arnold Pistorius, the uncle, also appeared to be readying the world for the return of his nephew to running on track regularly, even though he was still "extremely traumatized" by the death of Steenkamp.

"We all encouraged him to get back onto the track to help stabilize him emotionally," Arnold Pistorius said. "We encourage him to start exercising as we believe it is a vital step in helping him deal with the trauma."

Oscar Pistorius denies murder in the Valentine's Day killing of model Steenkamp, saying he mistook her for a nighttime intruder in his home. His next scheduled court appearance is June 4, when prosecutors say they intend to serve indictments.

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Follow Gerald Imray at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP