Wallington’s David Weir roared to a record breaking seventh Virgin Money London Marathon men’s T54 wheelchair title last Sunday, writes Ziad Chaudhry.
The 37-year-old, who first claimed the title in 2002, overcame Switzerland’s defending champion Marcel Hug in the thrilling sprint finish on The Mall to cross the line in one hour and 31 minutes.
Six-time Paralympic champion Weir had hinted he was ready to postpone retirement to continue to focus on road racing after he walked away from Team GB following last year’s performances at the Rio Games.
Putting that all to one side, Weir rated his seventh heaven victory as one of the best in his glittering career: “It was one the greatest achievements of my career,” he said. “It has been challenging since Rio to get mentally focused and prepared for this race.
“I wasn’t sure if I would make it here two or three months ago, so to be able to get here is an honour. It was also nice to out sprint the fastest man in the world Marcel Hug.
“All I was thinking was “win, win, win.” In recent years, I’ve been second, third and fourth and thought it was time to stop. But I knew my speed was still there. I’ve been working on big finishes. You have to be mentally strong.
"There’s 15 at the last corner. That shows that the London marathon has done amazing things for wheelchair racing.
“I’ve got a few meetings this week with my family, with my coach, to talk about my future. I’m definitely not continuing on the track but I’ll look at it in the fall and hope to be back next year. I’ve got a few sponsors that are ending this so we’ll just see.”