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Pistorius & Weir claim Cup golds

PARALYMPIC WORLD CUP
Venue: Manchester Dates: 20-25 May Coverage: Watch live swimming plus highlights from elsewhere on BBC Two, 1500-1715 BST, Monday 25 May; Daily reports on the BBC Sport website

By Elizabeth Hudson
BBC Sport in Manchester

David Weir

Highlights - Weir takes 1500m gold

South African Oscar Pistorius and Britain's David Weir both thrilled the crowds with victories at the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester.

Pistorius showed he has recovered from a boating accident earlier this year with wins in the T44 100m and 400m.

"I'm happy with the times, given the time I had out. This is a good way to start the season," he told BBC Sport.

Wheelchair racer Weir found Marcel Hug too good in the T54 800m but recovered to take gold in the 1500m.

Pistorius came through to overtake American Jerome Singleton late on to win the 100m.

American Singleton, who was second behind Pistorius in Beijing, again made a strong start but once the South African got into his stride, he quickly closed the gap and came through to triumph by .03 seconds in 11.13 seconds.

The triple Beijing gold medallist looked far more comfortable over the longer distance but even though his winning time of 50.28 seconds was a championship record, it was still well below his world record of 47.49.

"I felt I took the first 200m too slowly and the last 100 was a struggle but even though this was my worst race time for three-and-a-half years, it is good to be back," said Pistorius, who suffered head and facial injuries in the accident and only returned to training four weeks ago.

I just want to keep racing and the more races I do the fitter I get

David Weir

"Before the 100m I was very nervous and I think that was partly to blame for the poor time I had in the 400m.

"The other athletes put in phenomenal efforts in the 100m but a race is never over until you cross the line but I didn't think at the time that I was going to win.

"It was my first 400m race since my accident and I'm struggling to get back into my rhythm completely but in another couple of weeks I should be back on track."

Pistorius is still targeting qualification for this year's able-bodied World Championships in Berlin but having missed a block of training, reaching the qualification time of 45.95 from his current personal best of 46.23 is a tough ask.

However, he will aim to reach the target starting in a series of European races in Barcelona next week.

Britain's Ian Jones finished second to Pistorius in the 400m, setting a new personal best of 51.33 and also set a new PB of 11.49 in the 100m.

Double Beijing gold medallist Weir was also celebrating victory after a tactical 1500m, leading from start to finish in a time of 3:21.24, 0.16 seconds ahead of Switzerland's Hug with Thailand's Prawat Wahorum third.

Hug had earlier dominated the 800m to win in 1:41.72 seconds with Weir clocking 1:42.06 for silver.

"The 800 was just a warm-up for me but I just want to keep racing and the more races I do the fitter I get," Weir said afterwards.

606: DEBATE

"In the 1500 I wanted to lead from the front and dictate the race. I knew it was windy on the back straight and at the final bend I knew I had the advantage.

"I've had five months out since Beijing and to win here in my first 1500m race of the season against a strong field, I've got to be pleased.

"I've got a lot of races coming up, including an important series in Switzerland next month so this is a good start for me."

University of Bath student Ben Rushgrove made amends for his Paralympic disappointments by winning the T36 100m in a new championship record of 12.47 seconds.

Rushgrove went to Beijing with a broken foot and after winning silver in the 100m, he was forced to pull out of the 200m event with the problem and has been working hard to regain full fitness.

"It was a slow time but I think I eased off a bit too much at the end but it wasn't bad for my first race of the season," he revealed.

"Since I've got back to action we've been working hard on getting the training up to the level it should be at. We're still not there yet but we need to keep working and we are looking at some more technical improvements on my spikes.

"It's frustrating for my season and I will probably miss another four weeks of action

Danny Crates

"It's great to be back in action - you get so frustrated when you can't compete and it's the worst thing to be sitting on the sidelines.

"Hopefully with some more training under my belt I will be able to get a better time."

But 800m runner Danny Crates, who missed out on the Paralympics with a calf injury, had to pull out of his race with a hamstring injury with 200m to go.

"I had a hamstring injury coming into the meeting but I thought I was over it," he explained.

"I felt good coming into the race and I was strong over the first 600m or so but then I felt the hamstring pulling and within 10 or 15m I felt it go.

"It's frustrating for my season and I will probably miss another four weeks of action. I had in the back of my mind that this would be might be my last season but it was different when I got on the track and I really want to compete in Crystal Palace in July."

Oscar Pistorius

Highlights - Pistorius wins Cup 100m

BRITISH MEDALLISTS

Gold: Dave Weir (T54 1500m), Ben Rushgrove (T36 100m), Libby Clegg (T12 100m), Danny West (F54-57 shot)

Silver: Dave Weir (T54 800m), Michael Churm (T37 100m), Katrina Hart (T36/37 100m), Ian Jones (T44 400m), Richard Schabel (T32/51 club)

Bronze: Shelly Woods (T54 800m and 1500m), Sophie Hancock (F40 shot and discus), Ian Jones (T44 100m), Kieran Murphy (T32/51 club), Robin Womack (F54-57 shot), Libby Clegg (T12 200m).



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Disability Sport on the BBC
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