PAUL Blake will face a game of Russian roulette when he takes to the track at the Olympic Stadium next week.

The Dorchester -born athlete is tipped for a medal in both the T36 400m and 800m but in order to strike gold he is going to have to outgun both Evgenii Schvetov and Artyom Arefeyev, which would be no mean feat.

Speaking to Echosport, Blake, who has cerebral palsy, said: “I am running in the 400m and the 800m. They got rid of the 1,500m which was a bit of a nuisance because I felt I could have done some damage in that.

“It is really exciting to be in two events but there is going to be some tough opposition, particularly from the Russians.

“There is Artyom Arefyev, who is the world and reigning Olympic champion at 800m, and then there is Evgenii Schvetov, who is the European champion at 400m, so it should be a really good competition.

“I am more of an 800m specialist so going down to 400m from a middle-distance background is quite difficult in terms of striking a balance but I enjoy both events and I am looking forward to them.”

Blake is hoping home advantage will help his cause when he competes in the 400m on September 4 and the 800m two days later.

And on the evidence of the Test event back in May it could well play its part.

He added: “I was really lucky to run in the Test event.

“I was supposed to be running 800m but at the last minute they changed it to 1,500m and I ended up setting a new world record (4:34.42mins).

“To do that in the Olympic Stadium was fantastic but so was just seeing how everything worked – it was an amazing experience.”

The T36 400m world champion, who was a double silver medallist over 800m and 1,500m at the IPC Athletics World Championships in New Zealand in January 2011, has just returned from a holding camp in Portugal as part of his preparations for the Games, which are officially opened later tonight.

Blake added: “Preparations have gone really well and it was really exciting watching all the Olympics action on television a few weeks ago. Time just seems to have flown by.

“I can remember being at the World Championships last year not even thinking about the Paralympics. Obviously it was always in the back of my mind but since then things seem to have gone really quickly.”

Blake is one of five siblings and realised his love of running while chasing his brothers and sisters during his teens.

He went on to say: “I started when I was about 13 or 14.

“Due to my CP I could not ride a bike so I used to run behind my brothers and sisters trying to catch them up – I used to run miles and miles.

“I then joined an athletics club in Wimborne, purely for fitness at first, and that is when someone asked me whether I would be interested in entering competitions, so I started doing that.

“We then moved from Blandford to Lyme Regis and that is when I moved towards basketball instead.

“I played basketball for two years in Bridport, again just for fitness and because I really enjoyed it, but I then started to get less and less game time due to my size, so I ended up returning to running again.

“I joined Dorchester Athletics Club but they didn’t know much about disability athletics so I started to do my own research and in 2009 found out about a UKA Disability Athletics Grand Prix event at Crystal Palace.

“I ended up going there and running, and a week later I found out I had made the team and everything just started from there really.

“I never thought I would ever get the chance to visit some of the countries I have competed in since, and to think I am now going to the Paralympics is just incredible.

“None of it would have happened though without the support of UK Sport and the National Lottery, and my own private sponsor Liz Nelson, who has been fantastic.

“Without them I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this.

“To think I am now getting the chance to compete in a home Paralympics is incredible.

“It is a huge honour and I just cannot wait for it to get started.”