Paralympian Ian Jones is to be fitted with supports using the same technology that helps ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius.
Sprinter Ian, who is from Wythenshawe, has a form of muscular dystrophy, leading to muscle weakness in his legs, which affects how he lifts his feet.
But, now, he is being fitted with customised, specialist braces made from a carbon fibre blend - the same material in the blades used by South African double amputee Oscar Pistorius. And, like Pistorius, the braces absorb energy to cause a spring effect.
The braces have been made by senior orthotist Stephen Shiel at Wythenshawe Hospital.
Stephen said: "There are a great many options to help with drop foot - but in Ian's case a brace had to be made which could cope with such a high level of activity and replicate the natural recoil and spring effect when a person runs and walks.
"I'm hoping the braces will help Ian reach his personal and Olympic goals - it will be a proud moment when I watch him compete at London 2012."
Ian said: "The braces make me feel a lot more confident and give my legs good support, so that I don't feel like my feet are turning inwards. I'm looking forward to putting them into action at the Paralympics and giving Oscar some competition. But, before that, I'm also a representative for the Wythenshawe Games - and I want to show the people I've grown up with that anything is possible."
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council, said: "This fusion of sport and science shows how much talent and expertise Wythenshawe can offer. I invite the world to watch the Wythenshawe Games as a 'warm up' to London 2012, where we know Ian will make us proud."
For more information about Wythenshawe Games, log on to www.wythenshawegames.org.uk