HORWICH sprinter Ola Abidogun believes the element of surprise will prove his secret weapon as he looks to upset the big guns at his first Paralympics in London next summer.

The 18-year-old has enjoyed a stellar season to date and while he didn’t make the cut for the IPC World Championships in New Zealand at the start of the year, he more than made up for it at the junior equivalent – successfully defending his 100m and 200m titles in Dubai.

Since then, Abidogun has collected 100m silver and 200m gold at the Paralympic World Cup in May and is set to finish the season ranked eighth and tenth in the respective events.

With the season effectively over, Abidogun’s chances to test himself against his rivals will be few and far between ahead of London 2012 – but he’s the first to admit he’s not complaining.

“You do want to race against the best because you want to see what your rivals are up to,”

said Abidogun, who is at a London 2012 Simulation Camp in Monte Gordo, Portugal, funded by Aviva who have been supporting British athletes since 1999. “But more importantly, you don’t want them to see what you are doing and what you are capable of, you want to surprise them – the early bird catches the worm.

“And so I’m really pleased with how things have gone recently. My world rankings are great considering how old I am compared to my rivals who are mid-to-late 20s.”

Abidogun is under no illusions that his Paralympic debut will be daunting to say the least – competing in front of a partisan home crowd.

But with a gruelling winter’s training ahead of him, Abidogun believes he will be perfectly primed to challenge for the podium honours in the capital.

“The key for me is going to be having a really strong winter, if you don’t have a good winter then your summer is over,”

added Abidogun. “But with the work I am doing at the moment and the work that I have planned, I will be in great shape for London 2012.

“And I want to medal. It’s my first Paralympics but I believe that I will be able to challenge by the time I get there with the progress I will have made.”

● You can apply for tickets until 6pm today for the London 2012 Paralympic Games – for more information, go to www.tickets.london2012.com.

Three quarters of tickets are priced at £20 or less.