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World shocked as Pistorius arrested

The world of sport has woken up in shock as South African superstar Oscar Pistorius was arrested on suspicion of murder.

The Paralympic and Olympic sprinter, 26, is not just a sporting hero at home and a high-profile inspiration abroad for his lifelong determination to transcend physical boundaries.

He is also among a select band of athletes with a disability, including the legendary South African swimmer Natalie du Toit, who have secured their place in history by competing at both the Paralympic and Olympic Games.

London 2012 Paralympic 200m champion Richard Whitehead tweeted: "Shocking news this morning regards my buddy Oscar P what a tragedy!!! Unbelievable I'm speechless #oscar."

Britain's Paralympic discus champions also went online to relay their shock.

Aled Davies tweeted "wow... Crazy news about Oscar... Devastating and speechless..." while Josie Pearson simply stated it was "Tragic..."

Wheelchair racer Shelly Woods, silver medallist in the London 2012 Paralympic marathon, tweeted: "Woke up to shocking news about Oscar Pistorius, very very sad..."

Gunshots had rung out in the early hours at Pistorius's home in a high security gated estate in Pretoria. His girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 30, was found shot dead.

Fears about crime in South Africa mean that many people live behind fences and high walls.

Michael McKillop, Beijing 2008 800m gold medallist and world record holder from Ireland, reacted: "Sad to hear the news about @OscarPistorius #Gentleman #Shocked #legend #FingersCrossed".

He also described Pistorius "the most harmless man you will ever meet. #Kind #respectful #Sad"

US Paralympic sprinter April Holmes, a 14-time world record holder, tweeted that the families of both Ms Steenkamp and Pistorius were in her prayers adding "Sad situation. Prayers all around!"

Australian wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley, a two-time Paralympic marathon champion, tweeted: "And, oh no!! Oscar! Horrific news. 'Man arrested after body found at Pistorius' home".

Initial reports had suggested that Reeva Steenkamp, a model from Port Elizabeth who had appeared in FHM and was a law graduate, had been shot after being mistaken for a burglar.

South African police said they were "surprised" by claims of an intruder saying this did not come from them.

Former heptathlete Denise Lewis added: "Not a good morning athletics fans - News reports on Oscar Pistorius are unbelievable".

Like many others Michael Bingham, the 400m sprinter, was stunned by the news stating he had "Woke up in the US today to crazy news from SA."

Pistorius, nicknamed the "blade runner", was born without a fibula in both legs, and is a star name in the sporting circuit.

The 80,000-strong crowd at London's Olympic Stadium burst in to cheers every time he stepped on to the track where he won two golds and a silver medal at last year's Paralympics.

He made history in London 2012 by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete in the Olympics.

He won a key legal battle in 2008, when athletics' governing body, the IAAF, allowed him to compete against able-bodied athletes.

After a surprise defeat in the 200m Paralympic final Pistorius eventually apologised after claiming that his rival, Brazilian Alan Oliveira, was wearing blades that were too long.

Dame Kelly Holmes, double Olympic champion, pointed out that she is a regular visitor to South Africa, has had a place there for 12 years and visited for 18, tweeted: "WTF-So why did he have gun??"

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said it would be "inappropriate" to comment as it is a police matter.

The IPC statement added: "At this time the IPC would like to offer its deepest sympathy and condolences to all families involved in this case."

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