One of the problems I find with the Paralympics is this business of grading the level of disability, which can have a degree of arbitrariness about it. Are the athletes competing, as it were, on a level playing field? Yesterday's controversial 200 metres final brought it all out into the open. Oscar Pistorius turned out to be a sore loser, but his complaint about blade length underlined the way that technical details can make such a difference.
There's also the fact - unmentioned by Pistorius, naturally - that those runners with two blades do better than those with just one. The race yesterday was in fact the T44 (single below-knee amputation) final, but Pistorius and the winner, Brazilian Alan Oliveira, are both T43s (double below-knee amputation). Because there are so few double below-knee amputees, they're included in the T44 class. It's fairly clear that the symmetry provided by having two blades, as opposed to one blade and one leg, provides a key advantage.
All of which just underlines the absurdity of including Pistorius in the able-bodied Olympics, as I've argued before. He only has to increase the length of his blades and, hey presto, he's Olympic champion and world record holder. The notion of fairness - of competing on a level playing field - is a key element in sport: as Pistorius has, ironically and belatedly, now discovered.
Nothing arbitrary about last night's 5000m final - just men in wheelchairs zooming around the track. David Weir's win was a thrilling, jumping-out-the-chair-shouting, kind of moment: right up there with the best of the Olympic finals.