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Israeli Runner: They Stole My Shoes and Stole the Race

After failing to move up to the men's 400m track semifinals at the Olympics, Israeli sprinter Donald Sanford blamed his loss on stolen shoes
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 8/6/2012, 11:08 AM

track
track
Reuters

After failing to move up to the men's 400m track semifinals at the London Games on Saturday, Israeli sprinter Donald Sanford blamed his loss on the fact his shoes were stolen.

Stanford was seen arguing with the judges just prior to the start of his heat and did not have an opportunity to warm up prior to the onset of the race. At the very last moment, as the runners were about to take their marks, a judge ran out to the track to give Stanford a different pair of loaner running shoes.

Yet, while the Israeli sprinter looked strong in the first 300m of the race, he faded just before the finish line, coming in fifth with a time of 45.71 seconds, his best time of the season.

The U.S.-born Sanford told the Israeli media that he could have run faster in his own shoes, which he said were stolen.

The qualifying race was won by Oscar Pistorius, a double-amputee runner from South Africa who made Olympic history by becoming the first amputee to compete in track at the Games.