Athletes praise World Cup success
By Mike Burnett
BBC Sport in Manchester
Dame Tanni Grey Thompson
Tanni celebrates one of her two wins in Manchester
Dame Tanni Grey Thompson was among the athletes to hail the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester a huge success.
"What's been amazing is seeing the crowds come out," she said after the inaugural event at the weekend.
"It's been really top quality with the leading eight in the world in just about every event.
"It's amazing that's happened on home soil. It shows we can do it so well and it's got to be a big boost for London's 2012 bid."
More than 350 athletes from 46 countries competed at the four-day event, which ended on Sunday.
The competition, which featured wheelchair basketball, athletics, track cycling and swimming, is set to be held annually for the next two years and organisers hope it will help bridge the gap between Paralympic Games.
"It's really important for Beijing because as British athletes we tend to have to travel a lot to take part in major competitions," added Grey Thompson, who claimed golds in the T53 400m and 100m.
I think they really have put the athletes first
South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius
"So to have all these guys come to us is really amazing. It's really important to develop GB's young talent."
South African sprint sensation Oscar Pistorius was impressed by what he saw in Manchester.
"I think the event was very well organised," said the 18-year-old double amputee, who won the T44 100m and 200m. "The execution of it was top-notch.
"It is a top-class competition and I think they really have put the athletes first and I think that's evident in the results shown and the world records that have been broken."
Alan Pascoe, head of event organisers Fast Track, was also delighted with the feedback he had received and the level of competition on show.
"I'm absolutely thrilled and that's what the competitors, coaches and all the officials have told us,
"We've seen eight world records in the cycling, Natalie du Toit setting four world records in the pool and three world records at the athletics.
"We have also shown in a short space of time that Britain can create world- class events - and that was also important to me as the vice-chairman of London 2012."
British Paralympic Association chief Phil Lane joined in the praise.
"It's exceeded all my expectations," he said.
"The response I got back from the athletes was that it was a really fantastic event. I think that's been borne out by the quality of competition we've seen across the sports."
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