17 May 2010
Four times Paralympic Champion, Oscar Pistorius, will make his London debut when he takes to Crystal Palace for the Aviva London Grand Prix on 13 and 14 August.
The South African sprinter, who is arguably one of the most recognised names in elite disability sport, had a fantastic showing at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, winning three gold medals in the T44 100m, 200m and 400m.
The 23-year-old has not competed at the Aviva London Grand Prix previously but will now contest the T44 400m in the city he has set his sights upon as part of the 2012 Olympic Games.
He said: “This will be my first time competing in London and I am really looking forward to it, I know that the Aviva London Grand Prix is a fantastic event with a great atmosphere and I’m really looking forward to taking to the track and pushing myself to get a good result against what I know will be a great field of elite athletes.
“It’s still my aim to reach the London Olympics and I’m on good form to do so – it will be great to have a taste of a massive sporting event in London before the big event in two years time.
“I’m obviously aiming for a good time at London, the track is particularly quick so will aid my speed and I know that the crowd will be supporting me to run faster.”
He is due to arrive in the UK later this week to compete in the BT Paralympic World Cup, the largest multi-sport elite disability competition outside the Paralympic Games.
He said: “I always enjoy competing in Manchester and I’m hoping that a good performance there will lead to a great result in London a couple of months later.”
Nicknamed ‘the bladerunner’, Pistorius was born with a congenital absence of the fibula in both legs leading to him running with carbon fiber prosthetic limbs which have received notorious attention since he first took to the track competitively.
Pistorius has received large scale media coverage on his quest to compete in the Olympic Games as well as the Paralympics. He was sanctioned to compete in 2008 if he achieved the qualification criteria necessary, but unfortunately missed out on the chance to represent his country in Beijing by seven tenths of a second.
The new IAAF Diamond League is an international series of 14 events, of which the Aviva London Grand Prix is the only event to have a two-day programme.
Tickets for the Aviva London Grand Prix at the Crystal Palace August 13 and 14 are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk