The Countdown to the IPC Athletics World Championships Begins

There are just 100 days to go until some of the biggest names in Paralympic sport head to Christchurch, New Zealand for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships.

More than 1,000 athletes from more than 70 countries are expected at the QEII Stadium. The competition will run from Jan. 21- Jan. 30, 2011.

World famous athlete Oscar Pistorius, who is part of South Africa’s 35 strong team, will take part in the Championships. Pistorius will be competing in the 100m, 200m and 400m T44 — races he won 4 years ago at the last IPC Athletics World Championships in Assen, the Netherlands.

Joining Pistorius in Christchurch are Ireland’s Jason Smyth and Brazil’s Terezinha Guihermino.

After nearly breaking his 100m T13 world record earlier this year, Smyth will be determined to further lower his 10.62 world best time while retaining his world titles at 100m and 200m.

Despite being the 100m T11 world record holder since 2007, Brazil’s Terezinha Guihermino has never won gold at the distance at a major championships. In Christchurch, she will face the two athletes that denied her gold at the 2006 IPC Athletics World Championships and the Beijing 2008 Paralympics — teammate Adria Santos and China’s Chunmiao Wu.

Switzerland’s T54 class athlete Marcel Hug will be aiming to become the first athlete ever to win gold medals in all seven track events plus the marathon.

Marianne Buggenhagen, will also be competing in Christchurch. After winning 12 Paralympic medals, including nine golds, between 1992 and 2008, as well as multiple World Championship titles, she look to add to her success in the javelin, discus and shot put events.

China, who won 77 athletics medals, including 37 golds at the Beijing Paralympics, have named the biggest squad for Christchurch with 80 athletes. USA have named 54, while Russia will be flying 53 competitors to the Championships.

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