Former Dagenham star Gemili’s shock over Pistorius murder charge

Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria, South Africa, en route to appear in court charged with murder. Photo: AP Photo/Chris Collingridge. Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria, South Africa, en route to appear in court charged with murder. Photo: AP Photo/Chris Collingridge.

Thursday, February 14, 2013
3:03 PM

Former Dagenham and Redbridge player turned Olympic-sprinter Adam Gemili is among London 2012 stars reacting with disbelief after South African police charged Oscar Pistorius with the murder of his girlfriend.

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Great Britain's Adam Gemili (centre) in action with Jamaica's Yohann Blake (right) and Bahamas Derrick Atkins (left) in the men's 100m at the London OlympicsGreat Britain's Adam Gemili (centre) in action with Jamaica's Yohann Blake (right) and Bahamas Derrick Atkins (left) in the men's 100m at the London Olympics

According to local media reports Reeva Steenkamp, 30, was mistaken for an intruder at his property in Pretoria and shot dead today.

A spokesperson for Pistorius from the Fast Track agency in London said that the athlete was “assisting the police with their investigations” but said that no further comment until matters become clearer later today.

Pistorius was due to appear in Pretoria State Court this afternoon but this has now been delayed until tomorrow, local police have said.

Gemili, a former Barking and Dagenham College student, took to social networking site Twitter this morning as news of the incident broke.

He wrote: “Terrible news to wake up to about Oscar Pistorius! Thoughts are with him!”

Earlier this morning police spokeswoman lieutenant colonel Katlego Mogale declined to confirm the identity of the man in custody but said: “I can confirm that a woman has been fatally wounded in a shooting at Oscar Pistorius’s house.

“A 26-year-old man has been taken into custody.”

Double amputee Pistorius has emerged as the biggest star in the Paralympic movement and is known as the ‘Blade Runner’ because of the ground-breaking prosthetics he uses when competing.

The Johannesburg-born athlete, who was born without fibulas in his legs and had the limbs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old, won two gold medals and one silver at the London 2012 Paralympics, having made history weeks earlier by competing in the Olympic Games for his country, becoming the first amputee sprinter to do so. He competed in the 400m and 4x400m relay at the Olympics.

Pistorius had to win a legal battle over his blades with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in 2008 for the right to compete in able-bodied competition.

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