Ballard, Campbell and Pistorius Star in Manchester

British sprinter Graeme Ballard, American Discus thrower Jeremy Campbell and South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius stole the show on the opening day of the BT Paralympic World Cup. 23 May 2012
Graeme Ballard

Great Britain's Graeme Ballard set a new world record in the 100m T36 event at the BT Paralympic World Cup.


“We had a lot of sunshine and the crowd was phenomenal."

After Tuesday’s (22 May) Athletics portion of the BT Paralympic World Cup, Great Britain sits atop the standings with 40 points, followed by the Americas (30), Rest of the World (20) and Europe (10).

The British delegation was led by sprinter Graeme Ballard, who became a crowd favourite during the first race of the day when he set a new world record in the 100m T36 sprint with a time of 11.98.

He then later won the 200m with a mark of 25.12.

“My priority today was to run my race and the best I could,” Ballard said, more than satisfied with his results.

The men’s Discus F44/42 competition also stole some of the spotlight, as USA’s Jeremy Campbell threw a new world-record distance of 62.18m en route to defeating British favourite Dan Greaves, who is still aiming to crack the 60m mark in a competition.

“Today was slightly disappointing, as the result doesn’t quite reflect what we’ve been doing in training,” Greaves said. “But London’s when it counts for me.”

The Rest of the World team was highlighted by South African “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius did not disappoint all those who came out to see him, winning the men’s 200m T42/43/44 sprint in a time of 22.08, more than four full seconds ahead of second-place finisher Richard Whitehead of Great Britain.

“We had a lot of sunshine and the crowd was phenomenal,” Pistorius said. “So to have that opportunity was great.”

Pistorius’ personal best in the event is 21.80, but he was still quite please with his performance.

“All the aspects of the race linked in quite nicely. The start was comfortable, my transition from the start to the middle of the corner was smooth, my acceleration out of the corner was where I wanted it, and then coming into the home stretch, I felt quite a bit of wind from the front, but otherwise I was very, very happy with the race.”

For the Europe team, the Netherlands’ Marlou Rhijn set a new world record of 13.58 in the women’s 100m T43, and Italy’s Martina Caironi ran a new top time of 16.25 in the T42 class of the same event.

The American women made a strong showing, as both USA’s April Holmes and Tatyana McFadden picked up golds in their respective races.

Holmes who won the women’s 100m T42/43/44 event with a time of 13.46,

“My block start wasn’t the greatest,” Holmes said, “but after that technically it was awesome. I won at the end of the day, so I’ll take a victory and being healthy coming out of this.

“I wanted to come here and get as many opportunities to compete on this soil so I can get a feel of the weather and atmosphere. Fortunately, I brought the Florida weather with me and we got a very nice day today.”

McFadden won the women’s T53/54 400m in 55.53 and the 800m with a mark of 1:55.49.

She said her times were not quite as good as the marks she had in Switzerland earlier this week, but that she is still expecting to compete in five events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Canada’s Josh Cassidy, winner of this year’s Boston Marathon, scraped by Australia’s Richard Coleman to take the top prize in the men’s 800m T43/54.

Great Britain’s Daniel West won the men’s Shot Put and Czech Republic’s Rostislav Polmann finished just ahead of the host nation’s Nathan Stephens in the Javelin to seal gold.

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