By James Crook

151115083May 23 - American Paralympic silver medallist Blake Leeper has sent a signal of intent to 100 metres T44 London 2012 champion Jonnie Peacock, claiming that he can beat the British star on his home soil at the BT Great CityGames in Manchester.

"I think I can [beat him], but I'm going to have to prove that and back it up on the track," said the 23-year-old World Championship silver medallist.

"I feel like I am the faster runner, but he [Peacock] knows the 100m, and the 100m is quick, and Jonnie is very powerful.

"He's going to get out [the blocks] on me but I hope I have enough time to go catch him.

"I'm certainly going to be prepared to be really competitive."

Leeper took a silver and a bronze medal in the T44 400m and 200m events respectively at London 2012, and the American is looking forward to pushing his performance in front of the British crowds once again.

"I love coming to the UK - I loved running in London," he said.

"I ran seven races at the Paralympics in London and every race was sold out.

"You could feel the love and the energy from the crowd, so going back to the UK, I'm just so excited,"

144891388Leeper and Peacock will do battle on the streets of Manchester at the GreatCity Games

The opportunity to compete on the unique setting of the streets of Manchester in the free-to-view event for the first time is another challenge that he is relishing.

"I've watched so many of these street races on television.It's going to be pretty cool," he said.

"The best place I've ever performed was the Paralympic Games in 2012, what with the atmosphere, but I think this might be pretty close to that as I know the crowd are going to be amazing."

Peacock has not competed since his triumph and London 2012, and Leeper also recently had a spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

The pair will also face competition from London 100m bronze medallist Arnu Fourie and former javelin thrower, Dutchman Ronald Hertog.

London 2012 200m T44 gold medallist Alan Oliveira will also be competing at the Games, along with T42 long jump Paralympic champion Kelly Cartwright of Australia and Dutch "Blade Babe" Marlou Van Rhijn, who won silver in the women's T44 100m.

The Games are due to place on Saturday (May 25) and all events are free to watch and do not require tickets.

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