Paralympic athlete Blake Leeper broke Oscar Pistorius’ record for the T43 400 meters at the US world championship trials on Friday.
Leeper, a 27-year-old born without lower legs, competed in the men’s 400m semi-finals wearing carbon fiber prosthetic blades, finishing seventh in 45.25 seconds.
Although the time was not good enough to advance him to Saturday’s final, it saw Leeper smash jailed South African ‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius’s mark of 45.39 set in Daegu, South Korea in August 2011.
“I really wanted to come forth and make the finals,” Leeper said.
“Looking at the bigger picture, I made the semifinals and broke the world record today. It is hard to believe. To run 45.5 and 45.25 to break the world record, I am excited for the future.”
Leeper claimed a silver medal behind Pistorius in the T43 400m final at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
Pistorius is serving a six-year jail term for murdering his girlfriend in South Africa in 2013.