Eurosport - Thu, 04 Mar 12:05:00 2010
Oscar Pistorius will again be the marquee name of the 2010 Paralympic World Cup after the South African confirmed his participation at the annual event in May.
The 23-year-old, a four-times Paralympic gold medallist, will defend his titles 100m and 400m in Manchester as he continues his bid to compete at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London.
In 2008, Pistorius (pictured0, dubbed the Blade Runner, was cleared to compete at in IAAF able-bodied events by Court of Arbitration for Sport, but failed to achieve the qualifying time for the 2008 Olympics by 0.7 seconds.
This season, Pistorius has already clocked 46.82 seconds over 400m, his preferred event, just 0.57 slower than his personal best and he has already set his sights on bettering that in Manchester.
"I'm delighted to be competing in this year's BT Paralympic World Cup," he said.
"The event comes at a key time in my season and I will be looking to set fast times in the 100m and 400m.
"The London Paralympic Games are just two years away now and to have major international competition in the UK is crucial in my preparations as I look to defend my Paralympic titles and also compete in the Olympic Games.
"I always enjoy competing in Manchester as I receive such great support, from the crowds, my fellow competitors and my sponsors BT."
Pistorius is a major pull at the annual Paralympic World Cup - a competition that perennially boasts big crowds to promote disability sport, if not the most competitive of tournaments.
Last year, having taken an extended break from athletics following a high-speed boat crash, Pistorius collected both the 100m and 400m titles but was well short on his personal bests.
He remains one of the stand-out names of disability sport however and BT group marketing and brand director Suzi Williams is delighted Pistorius has signed up again.
"It is fantastic news that Oscar has signed up for this year's BT Paralympic World Cup - he's such an inspiration to people across the world. I look forward to seeing him compete in Manchester this May," she added.
The BT Paralympic World Cup Paralympic World Cup will be staged in Manchester from May 25-31, with over 400 competitors from over 31 countries scheduled to compete.
For the first time this year, a team challenge has been introduced which sees Great Britain take on teams from the Americas, Europe and the Rest of the World, with athletes competing for the overall BT Paralympic World Cup trophy.
Athletes will compete in four sports in Manchester: wheelchair basketball, 7-a-side football and athletics and swimming.