America’s 100m T44 world champion Jerome Singleton has promised ‘sparks will fly’ in the 200m at Friday’s Diamond League event in Brussels, Belgium after he unofficially broke the T44 world record last month whilst training.
The 25 year-old single leg amputee ran 21.70 seconds at the U.S. Olympic Training Center on 6 August, knocking nearly a second off Jim Bob Bizzell’s world record of 22.62 set at the Beijing Paralympics.
His time is also just 0.12 seconds off Oscar Pistorius’ seven year old T43 200m world record, and although the two will not face each other this week, Singleton is confident a record could be on the cards as he prepares to race some of the world’s top sprinters.
“Sparks will fly on Friday night I can tell you that much,” Singleton said, looking ahead to Friday’s Memorial Van Damme event which is organized by the Belgian Paralympic Committee. “If my time in training had been sanctioned then I would have broken the world record by about a second.”
On Friday a fast time is expected as Singleton will face six of his rivals from January’s IPC Athletics World Championships 200m final in New Zealand, a race he won silver in, behind Pistorius who took gold.
The line-up includes South Africa’s Arnu Fourie, Germany’s David Behre, the American duo of David Prince and Blake Leeper, Great Britain’s Ian Jones and France’s Jean-Baptiste Alaize who finished in places three through to eight respectively in New Zealand.
After earlier this year becoming the first man in seven years to beat Oscar Pistorius, Singleton is now setting his sights on challenging the South African ‘Blade Runner’ over 200m at London 2012.
“I’m trying to get to the point where, hopefully, I can dominate the 100m,” Singleton said. “And then in the 200m, hopefully we’ll have a close race. That’d be the best-case scenario. I really want to improve my 200m because that will make my strength better in the 100m.”