Oscar Pistorius awaits latest court date as World Championships roll on

Martin Rogers
Yahoo! Sports

Even as Oscar Pistorius faced the latest grim news in his fight for freedom on Tuesday, he must surely have allowed his mind to wander towards Moscow.

For this was supposed to be one of the most significant days in the Blade Runner's career, one he dreamed of and planned for. But not like this.

Instead of standing at the starting line for the final of the 400 meters at the World Championships, Pistorius remained holed up at a relative's house in South Africa, 6,000 miles away from Russia and light years removed from his former life as a celebrity athlete.

His only competition now is the one that continues on August 19. Next Monday is when the eyes of the word next get to see Pistorius, with the 26-year-old due to appear in court and face the next step in the legal fallout following the fatal shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February.

[Slideshow: Life and career of Reeva Steenkamp]

In all likelihood, that is when Pistorius will hear the full details of the charges against him and when a precise date will be set for the official start of his trial, probably around April next year.

Given the confidence with which South Africa's police service delivered its announcement Tuesday that its investigation into Steenkamp's death was complete, Pistorius' few remaining supporters may have just lost a little more hope that their idol can avoid a premeditated murder verdict that would see him serve 25 years to life behind bars.

"We are confident based on what we have on the table that justice will be done and that the accused, Mr. Oscar Pistorius, indeed has a case to answer to," police spokesman Lt. Gen. Solomon Makhale told South Africa's eNCA news channel. "What is needed now is for the court process to unfold, but we remain hopeful that in the end we will demonstrate that there was a lot of good work go into the investigation and that justice will be served."

Over in Moscow, life on the track carried on. Americans LaShawn Merritt and Tony McQuay took gold and silver in the 400-meter final, with Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic coming in third. The IAAF World Championships are second only in importance to the Olympics in the running world, and this meet was long held by Pistorius as one of his primary career goals.

[Slideshow: American medal tracker for IAAF World Championships]

After reaching the semifinals in London last summer, where the double amputee competed against able-bodied athletes after winning a long fight with the authorities to be allowed to race, he dreamed of going one better at Luzhniki Stadium and qualifying for a spot in the final.

Instead of having the eyes of the world upon him for all the right reasons, Pistorius remained hidden away, waiting for the media circus that surrounds his every court appearance to reconvene.

Merritt sidestepped all questions about Pistorius earlier in the week, insisting he was only focused on his own bid for gold, while Kirani James, who Pistorius exchanged bibs with in last year's Olympic Games, would only go so far as to voice his sadness at Pistorius' absence.

The Blade Runner will be a hot topic of discussion again soon enough though, just not until next week, and not in the way he would want.

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