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Updated: Thu, 14 Feb 2013 03:35:43 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

Olympian Oscar Pistorius charged with girlfriend's murder

Olympian Oscar Pistorius charged with girlfriend's murder

South African police say they have charged double-amputee Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius with murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The woman's talent management firm earlier said the 29-year-old model was the victim of the shooting.

Police spokeswoman Lt.-Col. Katlego Mogale told The Associated Press that officers received a call around 3 a.m. local time saying there had been a shooting at the 26-year-old runner's home in a gated housing complex in the capital, Pretoria.

A 9-mm pistol was recovered and a murder case opened against Pistorius, who is to appear in court later today.

South African media speculated that Pistorius may have mistaken the young woman for an intruder.

Steenkamp tweeted her excitement about Valentine's Day hours before the shooting.

One of South Africa's most famous athletes

Pistorius made history in London last year when he became the first double-amputee track athlete to compete in the Olympic Games. Nicknamed 'Blade Runner,' he is one of South Africa's and the world's most famous sportsmen.

Having had both his legs amputated below the knee before his first birthday because of a congenital condition, he campaigned for years to be allowed to compete against able-bodied athletes. Having initially been banned because of his carbon fiber blades — which critics said gave him an unfair advantage — he was cleared by sport's highest court in 2008 and allowed to run at the top events.

He competed in the 400 metres and on South Africa's 4x400 relay team at the London Games, making history after being have his selection confirmed on South Africa's team at the very last minute. He also retained his Paralympic title in the 400 metres in London.

With files from CBC News

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