Fresh off the back of running 45.61 seconds across 400m, a time which is inside the ‘B’ qualification standard for the Olympic Games, Oscar Pistorius has today confirmed his attendance at the BT Paralympic World Cup and says the elite competition will be crucial in his preparations for the World Championships and to qualify for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London next year.
Having set the huge personal best in Pretoria, South Africa, at the Provincial Championships last night, the ‘Blade Runner’ is aiming to qualify for the able bodied World Championships in Daegu, Korea, but Manchester is first on the cards, where he will be aiming to defend his BT Paralympic World Cup T44 100m and 400m titles, which will be broadcast on Channel 4.
Pistorius, who is a BT Ambassador, said, “I am delighted that my new personal best of 45.61 is within the Olympic B qualification and it takes me that step closer to competing in the Olympics as well as the Paralympics in 2012, it feels fantastic to have achieved a time that I knew I had in me and have been working towards for some time. My main goal in 2011 is to qualify for the able-bodied World Athletics Championships in Daegu and the BT Paralympic World Cup is a very important event in my preparation process.”
The 24-year-old double amputee continued, “There is a year-and-a-half to go to the London Games and I need to put my head down and push for it. The event in Manchester will be the perfect stepping stone.”
BT Group Marketing and Brand Director Suzi Williams said, “It’s fantastic that Oscar will be running at the BT Paralympic World Cup this year and a testament to the stature of the event that it continues to attract the top international names in Paralympic sport. I’m looking forward to seeing him compete in Manchester as he continues to push for qualification for the World Championships and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Tickets for the BT Paralympic World Cup officially go on sale on Monday 28 May and joining Pistorius in Manchester will be local hero Ian Jones. The Paralympic bronze medallist will again take on Oscar over 400m and says he is excited to be competing in front of a home crowd.
“It is great to be competing in my home city again, the crowd are always routing for us and I look forward to the event every year. It will be a great stepping stone for all competitors headed for London 2012,” he said.
The BT Paralympic World Cup is the largest annual international multi-sport competition in elite disability sport. BT is entering its third year as title sponsor, in a sponsorship which runs up to and includes the 2012 BT Paralympic World Cup.
Manchester has committed for the seventh consecutive year to hosting elite international athletes competing across Wheelchair Basketball, Athletics and Swimming. In addition, Boccia and Sitting Volleyball will be represented for the first time, with international matches staged during the competition.
The 2011 BT Paralympic World Cup will receive unprecedented television coverage, with Channel 4 committing to a two hour live programme on 28 May, as well daily highlights packages on 26 and 27 May, including from the athletics. Live daily streaming from each sport will also be broadcast on the Channel 4 website: www.channel4.com/paralympics
The BT Paralympic World Cup is sanctioned by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and supported by ParalympicsGB, BT and Manchester City Council.
Tickets for the BT Paralympic World Cup go on sale on 28 March. For more information visit: www.btparalympicworldcup.com
The event schedule will see the Manchester Regional Arena host Wheelchair Basketball on 23-26 May and Athletics on 27 May, with the Manchester Aquatics Centre hosting the Swimming competition on 27-28 May. The Sitting Volleyball international match will be staged at the Regional Arena on 25 May and the Boccia match on 26 May.