Oscar preparing for the Manchester Run
A slimmer, trimmer Oscar Pistorius powered through the second half of the Men’s T44 100m into a strong headwind this afternoon to take the Gold with a time of 11:04 at the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester.
He then went on to set a new World record in the T42/44 Men’s 400m. Fellow Team Össur member American April Holmes also took Gold, in the Women’s T44 100m. Both athletes ran, as always, on the legendary Flex-Foot® Cheetah® prosthetic foot design from Össur.
Shaving 0.29 seconds off his personal best for the 100m and with a record time of 47.28, almost half a second off his best time for the 400m, the 24-year-old South African affectionately known as “Blade Runner” was clearly delighted. The UK’s Ian Jones claimed Silver in the 400m, beating compatriot and yet another Team Össur star Richard Whitehead, who has been best known, until now, for his marathon running achievements.
"Mentally, it was always going to be a tough race"
“It feels a bit like home when I come back here [to Manchester],” said Pistorius, who was kept busy signing autographs for an adoring crowd of around 5000 spectators. “It was a strange start to the 100m race but I just found my rhythm at about 50m and I’m very happy. Mentally, it was always going to be a tough race and I think it’s always going to be back and forth between Jerome [Singleton] and I.”
Speaking after his 400m win, he added: “I came out here to enjoy the race, to run at my own pace and see where it would take me. And that’s exactly what happened. I'm so happy and blessed to have the support I do here – it’s great to run in a place so passionate about Paralympic sport and so educated when it comes to disability.”
Congratulations also to another great Team Össur star, the American Blake Leeper, who took Bronze in that much anticipated T44 100m race with a time of 11.53.
Recovering from a serious hip operation, April Homes delivered, according to one commentator, a performance of class and guts. “I’m happy I won,” said Holmes, “But that wind was crazy. I’ve been training really hard and keeping positive. It was hard work going into rehab everyday and my therapist helped me out, but coming back from a hip injury to run again is pretty hard. Hopefully this will start up my winning streak again.”All 2011 results, news and photos from the event are available at the official website.