With six weeks to go to the IPC Athletics World Championships, Oscar Pistorius has admitted he finds it `scary’ running against rival Jerome Singleton and fears the American sprinter could steal his 100m T44 title from him in Christchurch.
Two years ago at the Beijing Paralympic Games, the `Blade Runner’ staged a remarkable comeback to beat Singleton on the line by just 0.03 seconds to claim 100m gold.
And last year the two were practically inseparable again and Pistorius is well aware he will have to be at his best to retain his 100m world crown in Christchurch.
Speaking to www.paralympic.org, the International Paralympic Committee’s website, Pistorius said: ‘At the BT Paralympic World Cup last year we crossed the line in the same splits as we did in Beijing.
‘The time was slower but the splits were the same so it’s going to be quite scary running against him in Christchurch. ┬áI’m definitely expecting it to be my hardest race.”
After analyzing his performance from Beijing, Pistorius is aware that big improvements will have to be made to retain gold in Christchurch.
‘It was not a good start and my race wasn’t run technically properly. I was last after 30 metres and my reaction speed was bad,’ said Pistorius, ‘There was a lot of amateur faults I made in that race, I was very lucky to come away with a win.’
Despite the growing rivalry between the two athletes, Pistorius has nothing but respect for the 24 year old American.
‘He’s a really nice guy and I really like him,’ said Pistorius. ‘He’s very down to earth, humble and hard working – everything you’d like in a competitor.
‘He’s not a big talker which I also like, his talent talks on the track. ┬áHe’s a phenomenal athlete and a great guy,’ added Pistorius.
The 24-year-old Pistorius will in Christchurch compete in the 100m, 200m and 400m and will be one of more than 1,000 athletes from 70 countries taking part in the IPC Athletics World Championships.
Other big names participating in New Zealand from 21-30 January include Irish sprinter Jason Smyth – the fastest Paralympian on the planet, and David Weir – the Brit who won this year’s New York marathon.