May 22 - Brazilian double-leg amputee sprint star Alan Oliveira has expressed his excitement at competing at the upcoming BT Great CityGames Manchester, which will feature Paralympic athletes for the first time this year.
The event in the city centre on Saturday (May 25) will see Oliveira compete in the United Kingdom for the first time since London 201, where the 21-year-old from Pará sensationally beat South Africa's Oscar Pistorius to gold in the T44 200 metres in one of the highlights of the Games.
Oliveira will be one of several major Paralympic athletes competing in Manchester with the likes of Britain's Jonnie Peacock and Australia's Kelly Cartwright also in attendance, and the Brazilian admitted it is a good chance to begin early preparations for Rio 2016.
"For now I want to focus on the Paralympics, to race in the 200m and the 100m," Oliveira said.
"That's the reason I train every day.
"The Paralympics have so many good athletes.
"Look at Jonnie Peacock for example.
"He is such a great athlete and a great person."
Oliveira will race in the 200m in Manchester where his opposition on the raised platform track will include South African London 2012 T44 100m bronze medallist Arnu Fourie, America's T44 400m bronze medallist David Prince and German Paralympian David Behre, also a bronze medallist from last summer's Games.
Peacock, who will be racing competitively for the first time since his London 2012 T44 100m victory, will line up in the 100m in Manchester against American Paralympic T43 400m silver and 200m bronze medallist Blake Leeper, Dutch T44 sprinter Ronald Hertog and Fourie.
In the long jump, F42/44 champion Cartwright will face Britain's Stef Reid in a rematch of their epic battle at London 2012, where Reid was forced to settle for silver behind her Australian rival.
"I'm really looking forward to competing in Manchester," Reid said.
"The format is so unique and will be a real experience jumping right in the middle of a city centre, with the Town Hall instead of a stadium for a backdrop.
"Having the crowd so close will be a real motivator and I'm sure it will be a great experience for them being so close to the action."
Brendan Foster, the Montreal 1976 Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist and chairman of BT Great CityGames Manchester organiser Nova International, has welcomed the addition of Paralympians to the event.
"This year we are thrilled that Paralympic champions will compete for the first time," he said.
"After the best and most successful ever Paralympic Games last summer, we know the thousands of spectators and the BBC TV audience will be thrilled with the addition of these new events."
All events at the BT Great CityGames Manchester are free to watch with no tickets required.
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