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Rivals aim at Oscar
- Updated: January 18, 2011
US Sprinter Jerome Singleton, who completed his major degree in mathematics last month, says he is hoping to find the perfect formula to beat South African Oscar Pistorius over 100-metres, starting this week at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Pistorius staged a remarkable comeback at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games to beat Singleton in a photo finish and become the first non-US winner of the 100m T44 title since 1992.
However, after finishing his studies last month, Singleton, who Pistorius describes as “scary” to run against, is now focusing all his time and efforts on reclaiming the 100m world and Paralympic crowns for the US and that means beating the almost invincible Pistorius.
Speaking to www.paralympic.org, the International Paralympic Committee’s website, Singleton said: ‘We’re ready to go fast here in Christchurch. The US held the Paralympic sprint title as far back as I know to 1992 and Oscar took it off us in 2008 together with the world titles.
‘The US team has now got some new athletes and we’re ready to go.┬á We’re here in Christchurch for the world title, but if we don’t get it this year we certainly will next in London. I can’t control what happens with Oscar.┬á Racing against him you don’t hear anything so when you think you might have him, you might not. You’ve got to get out as fast as you can and hold on.’
Since missing out on gold to Pistorius in Beijing two years ago, Singleton says he is even more determined to be victorious in Christchurch and that contests between the two always produces classic races.
‘Oscar’s a great athlete and I love our rivalry,’ said Singleton.┬á ‘Ali had Frazier, Magic Johnson had Larry Bird and Usain Bolt has Tyson Gay.┬á So I’m coming here to show Oscar what he has to contend with!’
It’s not just one US athlete Pistorius will have to contend with when the final of the men’s 100m T44 takes place next Wednesday evening, but two.
Making his major international bow at the World Championships is 21 year-old sprinter Blake Leeper, who earlier this month ran a 100m personal best of 11.08 seconds in a warm-up event in Sydney – the fastest time in the world for two years.┬áAs a result Leeper isn’t just going to Christchurch to make up the numbers.
Leeper said: ‘The rivalry between Oscar and Jerome is great but I want to do the best I can, and that means I want to win and take gold. Even though I’m new to all this I still want to do the best regardless of who I’m running against.
‘This is only my third international competition and it’s opened my eyes and having another double amputee on the track will turn a lot of heads hopefully in a good way.
‘I’ve been at the Olympic Training Centre training day and night, grinding hard trying to get the best as I knew this would be a big event and it showed in Sydney.┬á Hopefully it’s made people aware that I’m coming for them even though I’m still young, I’m coming and I’m coming strong,’ he added.
The IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand open this Friday with races starting on Saturday 22 January until Sunday 30 January.