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100 DAYS TO GO TO PARALYMPIC GAMES, ONE DAY TO GO UNTIL pARALYMPIC WORLD CUP

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Dan Greaves
Dan Greaves - will "lucky" Manchester venue see a new World Record?

21 May 2012

F44 discus World Champion Dan Greaves (coach: Jim Edwards) hopes that he can deliver a World Record performance at his “lucky venue” in tomorrow’s BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester (Tuesday 22 May).

Speaking at the official press conference on the eve of the competition - a day which also marks 100 days to go until the Paralympic Games - he talked about the importance of the event and the role it’s played in taking forward Paralympic sport.

“It’s an honour to compete here once again,” said Greaves, who competed in the inaugural event eight years ago and recorded a new global best of 59.27m at the event 12 months ago (which he improved to 59.85m later in summer). “The whole Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland squad is in great spirits and we’re thoroughly looking forward to it.

“The BT Paralympic World Cup has played a key role in the positive development of Paralympic sport over the years and on this occasion it gives us a great opportunity to test ourselves against our main London 2012 competitors, but also do so in front of friends, family and our loyal supporters.”

Greaves - who has put in an extended period of winter training this year with a focus on weights, strength and conditioning - admits he’s been disappointed with his opening performances of the season domestically, but is confident that it’ll all come together when it matters: “Over the last couple of competitions I’ve been frustrated that I’ve not been able to replicate what I’m throwing in training,” he said.

“I really just want to do myself justice; I know what I can do but I just haven’t been performing. I’ve put on a bit of muscle and now I just want to go out and register a few big throws before going back into some good training to ultimately peak in London.

“I’m in a competition phase now, but not the same phase I want to be in come September, so this is a confidence thing for me. Things haven’t been coming together as I’d have liked in competition, but Manchester has been my lucky venue and I want to put it right tomorrow.”

Joining Greaves in the 24-strong Aviva GB & NI team for the event are recent World Record breakers Richard Whitehead (Liz Yelling/Keith Antoine) and Hannah Cockroft (Peter Eriksson) who made history at the London 2012 Paralympic athletics test event earlier this month when clocking new World Records in the T42 200m and T34 100m respectively.

World Champion Whitehead, a multi-talented athlete with a marathon best of 2:42:54, lowered his own global best to 25.50 (+0.5m/s) , while he also clocked a PB in the 100m (13.33/+0.3m/s). He starts in both events tomorrow.

Double World Champion Cockroft took over a tenth of a second off her T34 100m World Record when clocking 18.56 (+0.6m/s) in London but further reduced that mark at the Daniela Jutseler Memorial meeting in Switzerland last week (Thursday 17 May) when she went sub-18 seconds for the first time with 17.67 (+1.6m/s). She achieved an impressive double on that occasion, also re-writing the record books in the T34 200m with 31.45 (+1.9m/s).

She starts in the 100m tomorrow.

With such incredible performances to refer to in the past month alone, Sir Philip Craven, President of the IPC, told the packed press conference room with confidence that "all the ingredients were coming together for London 2012 to stage the best Paralympic Games ever in 100 days’ time".

He said: "To deliver the best ever Games in terms of athletic performance, it is vital that our elite performers benefit from the best possible preparations and that is why the BT Paralympic World Cup, which has turned into a fantastic multi-sport competition featuring some of the best international athletes on the planet, is an important event in the sporting calendar.”

IPC Director of Communications Craig Spence added: “Today’s attendance shows how far we’ve come...if you look at where we started out and now we have global media interest and we’re attracting some of the biggest names in the sport, that says it all really.

“Looking ahead to the Paralympic Games I can confidently say that this should be the best Games ever. We’ve already got the best ticket sales, we’ll have the best ever ceremonies, we’ve secured more broadcast coverage than ever before with an expected accumulated audience of four billion worldwide and we expect to see the best ever athlete performances; already we’re seeing incredible performances with World Records being broken in recent events.”

The athletics kicks off at Manchester's Sport City at 12 noon tomorrow with the men's T36 100m.

The full Aviva GB & NI team can be found through the following link, although David Weir (Jenny Archer), who had looked in impressive form in Switzerland over the weekend, has withdrawn as a precautionary measure after the effects of a high-speed crash in the men’s T54 1500m last Thursday.

Over 200 athletes from 30 countries will compete across three sports at the 2012 BT Paralympic World Cup and the event will once again be broadcast by Channel 4. For more information visit: www.channel4.com/paralympics

The team concept, introduced in 2010, will see athletes from Great Britain and Northern Ireland take on teams from the Americas, Europe and the Rest of the World across all sports. The defending champions are Great Britain.

Tickets for the BT Paralympic World Cup are now on sale. For more information visit: www.btparalympicworldcup.com