World’s Fastest Paralympic Sprinters to go Head-to-Head in Trafalgar Square

06 Sep 2011

The city of London will have the opportunity to watch two of the world’s fastest Paralympic sprinters go head-to-head Thursday (8 September) when Trafalgar Square hosts International Paralympic Day.

American world-record holder April Holmes, the women’s 100m T44 Paralympic champion from Beijing, will race France’s world champion Marie-Amelie Le Fur on a specially laid 50m track in front of the iconic National Gallery.

The race is set to be even more special, as it is the first time the two have raced each other since January’s IPC Athletics World Championships in New Zealand. Holmes went into the event as defending champion but was beaten into bronze medal position, as Le Fur came out on top in a time of 13.19 seconds – 0.21 seconds outside of Holmes’ record set in 2006.

Next year, it is likely the two will rival each other for gold in the final of the women’s 100m T44, set to take place on 2 September in Olympic Stadium. International Paralympic Day will give the British public a glimpse of what it can expect in 2012.

“I’m looking forward to being able to show London and the world what kind of a race it can expect next summer at Olympic Stadium,” Holmes said.

“I’m thrilled to have the chance to go up against Marie-Amelie since I am the Paralympic champion and she is the world champion. Our rivalry will help boost awareness of the Paralympic Movement and showcase the abilities of female athletes.”

The race will be just one of many highlights at International Paralympic Day, a 12-hour spectacle of Paralympic Sport in Trafalgar Square that will feature appearances from more than 100 athletes and demonstrations in 10 out of the 20 sports that will be part of the London 2012 sports programme.

Other big names set to attend include four-time Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius, 100m world champion Jerome Singleton, who in January was the first man in seven years to beat Pistorius, and Great Britain’s Eleanor Simmonds, a two-time Paralympic champion from Beijing.

The day after International Paralympic Day, Friday (9 September), around two million tickets will go on sale for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Demand for the tickets is unprecedented, and so far more than one million people have registered their interest online. More than half of the tickets on sale will be priced at £10 or less and 75 percent at £20 or less.