Pistorius, who was joined by fellow athlete Dan Greaves, IPC President Sir Philip Craven and other athletes and dignitaries at the celebration, is a familiar face at the BT Paralympic World Cup, having competed at six of the previous seven competitions to have taken place.
But the 25-year-old believes this year is more important than ever and says the competition can be a springboard for his London 2012 campaign.
Pistorius said: “I am absolutely delighted that in the most important year of my career so far, I am starting my European season at the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester.
“I cannot believe it is only 100 days until the London Paralympics and this week is crucial in my preparations for hoping to win four gold medals at the Paralympic Games.
“The BT Paralympic World Cup is an event which I hold very dear to my heart: I have had great support from the city ever since I competed here back in 2005 and BT is a brand which has continually demonstrated its commitment to disability sport.
“London 2012 will be a high watermark for Paralympic sport and I believe we will really show the sporting abilities of the best Paralympic athletes in the world at London 2012.
Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, said: “All the ingredients are coming together for London 2012 to stage the best Paralympic Games ever in 100 days’ time.
“To deliver the best ever Games in terms of athletic performance it is vital that our elite performers benefit from the best possible preparations and that is why the BT Paralympic World Cup is an important event in the sporting calendar.
“Four years ago BT got on board supporting this event, and they have turned it into the fantastic multi-sport competition it is today featuring some of the best international athletes on the planet.
“Over the coming days the British public will get a flavour of what they can expect to see in London later this summer and I am sure they’ll be left counting down the days until 29 August when the Games start.”
Suzi Williams, director, BT Group Marketing and Brand, said: "This year's BT Paralympic World Cup is the culmination of four fantastic years for us, and is set to be the best ever. It's going to fire the starting gun on an amazing summer of sport, and BT is proud to be at the heart of it.
“Once again Channel 4 will be broadcasting the action, and it's a brilliant opportunity to see the world's best Paralympic athletes in action ahead of the London 2012 Paralympic Games."
Another athlete who has had incredible success at the event in recent years, having broken his world record on three occasions, is discus star Dan Greaves.
The Midlands-born athlete has taken gold, silver and bronze and the past three Paralympic Games, but insists winning in London is something that would top the lot.
“It’s an honour to compete at the BT Paralympic World Cup once again,” said Greaves. “The whole Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland squad is in great spirits and are thoroughly looking forward to competing in what is no doubt a hugely important competition.
“The BT Paralympic World Cup gives me and all my team, an incredible opportunity to test myself against my main London 2012 competitors ahead of time, but also do so in front of friends, family and our loyal supporters.
“I’ve obviously had great success here in the past and it would be fantastic for me, being this close to the Paralympics, if I could break the world record once again.”
Away from the track, wheelchair basketball star Laurie Williams is also confident of success as her Great Britain side take on USA, Germany and Australia as they defend their BT Paralympic World Cup title, while her male counterparts also take on USA and Germany, but conclude their group with Japan.
The 22-year-old was part of the Britain team that took top spot last year and the Altrincham girl is desperate to get the edge on their Paralympic Games rivals, something, she insists, will leave them in good stead come London.
Williams said: “I’m really looking forward to the BT Paralympic World Cup as it will give us a chance to play the best countries in the world such as the Americans who are world champions, the Germans are still on our list to beat and the Australians are really close competitors as well.
“I think that it will provide us with fundamental practice really and it will show us what we need to work on as well as what we are doing well. It’ll be good all round preparation in the run up to London 2012.”
Williams’ thoughts were echoed by Great Britain football 7-a-side captain Matt Dimbylow, whois one of four players from Great Britain’s last outing at the BT Paralympic World Cup in 2010, alongside Michael Barker, Josh Beacham and Martin Sinclair - whose brother, Scott, plays for Premier League outfit Swansea City.
41-year-old Dimbylow was part of the side that came seventh at the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008, with Jonathan Paterson and Michael Barker. “I can speak for the whole team when I say we are so excited about being part of the BT Paralympic World Cup,” said Dimbylow, who will lead his team against Brazil, USA and Republic of Ireland in Manchester.
“For everyone involved, the competition is of the highest importance as everyone is desperate to do their very best in London, and this gives us an incredible foothold to do so.
“To compete against the likes of Brazil, USA and the Republic of Ireland is a huge boost and one that can only help our chances come London in under 100 days’ time.”
Meanwhile, GB boccia star Stephen McGuire believes the BT Paralympic World Cup is a “major stepping stone” to glory in London.
McGuire, who is joined on the team by his brother, Peter, and Jamie McCowan, for their international matches against the Czech Republic, said: “All the BC4 Boccia athletes are relishing the opportunity to compete at this year’s BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester. The Czech Republic will prove a tough test as they are medallists in Beijing and more recently in Belfast.
“It means a lot to be competing for the first time in a major multi sports competition. We are hoping to gain valuable experience competing in front of a home crowd and use the advantages that a partisan atmosphere can bring.
“We see the BT Paralympic World Cup as a major stepping stone in our preparation towards this year’s Paralympic Games in London.”
Neil Fairlamb, Head of Sport at Manchester City Council, added: “Manchester is delighted to be celebrating our eighth year as host city. The BT Paralympic World Cup provides a significant stepping stone for many elite-level athletes aiming to compete at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and beyond, and we look forward to seeing some fantastic performances on track and court, and an opportunity to see the Britain’s best athletes in action on home soil.
“This event has become a cornerstone in the City’s major events programme which, in turn, has contributed to our current position as a world leading sport city and the combination of so many world-class British and international athletes ensures that the event’s global significance has grown year on year.
“Equally, the BT Paralympic World Cup continues to underpin the development of disability sport opportunities for residents and communities across the city and region, and we are particularly proud to have created and sustained one of the best disability sport development programmes in the UK.”
The BT Paralympic World Cup is the largest annual international multi-sport competition in elite disability sport. BT is entering its fourth year as title sponsor, upholding its strong commitment to disability sport in the UK that stretches back over twenty years.
Manchester has committed for the eighth consecutive year to hosting elite international athletes competing across Wheelchair Basketball, Athletics and Football 7-a-side. In addition, Boccia will once again be represented, with an international match being staged during the competition.
The 2012 BT Paralympic World Cup will once again be broadcast by Channel 4. For more information about Channel 4’s Paralympic coverage, visit: www.channel4.com/paralympics.
The BT Paralympic World Cup is sanctioned by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and supported by ParalympicsGB, BT and Manchester City Council.
Tickets for the BT Paralympic World Cup are now on sale. For more information visit: www.btparalympicworldcup.com
The event schedule will see the Manchester Regional Arena host all events, starting with Athletics on 22 May, followed by Wheelchair Basketball and Football 7-a-side on 23-26 May. The Boccia match will be staged on 24 May.