South African Paralympics champion Oscar Pristorius is yet again in the limelight, this time for resuming training amidst his looming trial. Pistorius was accused of murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on valentines day this year. He was photographed running with his blades in training gear on the Pretoria athletics track. The Beeld newspaper says that the picture was taken by teenager Lisa Smith (17) from Voortrekker High School. Lisa together with her Pietermaritzburg hockey team-mates spotted the runner two weeks ago at a Hockey clinic at the University of Pretoria (Tukkies). “As we drove past on our way out on Sunday at 10:15, one of the kids screamed, ‘There’s Oscar!’. As true as Bob, there he was” says Voortrekker High’s director of sport, Charmaine Koekemoer.
Koekemoer insists that Oscar was there to train “None of us are in any doubt. We saw Oscar training”. Her story was corroborated by her assistant coach Anna-Marie Maartens “We could see his face. He had his glasses on. It was just him. I was quite excited to say I had seen Oscar after the whole Reeva Steenkamp issue.”
When asked to comment Pistorius’s agent Peet van Zyl said “He is in mourning, he is still trying to cope with her death. He is human”. Van Zyl also explained that Pistorius had not been on an athletics track to train since he shot Reeva Steenkamp. He found out later that the athlete was photographed on the track on the 24 March and emphasised “He wasn’t there to train”. Van Zyl says that if and when Pistorius decides to train again, it will be his decision. Even though his bail conditions allow him to participate in competitions abroad there has been no final decision about any training programme. His next court appearance will be on 4 June