Weir targets London Marathon record and Glasgow 2014

Wednesday, 12 December 2012
By Mike Rowbottom

David Weir marathon London 2012December 12 - David Weir, Britain's quadruple gold medallist at the London 2012 Paralympics, has revealed that he will seek a record seventh victory in the Virgin London Marathon wheelchair race next year before setting his sights on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Weir, one of 12 competitors short-listed for the BBC Sports Personality Award which will be decided on Sunday (December 16), told a teleconference today: "I am equal with Tanni Grey-Thompson on six London Marathon victories and I hope to win a seventh next year.

"Another big thing I am looking at is the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

"I haven't raced at the Commonwealths and this is a great chance to compete again in front of a home crowd.

"I would love to represent England in Scotland."

Weir did not rule out returning to the Paralympics in Rio four years from now to seek further titles, when he will be 37, but added: "I think physically I showed in London that winning four titles could be done.

"But it might be more difficult in Rio because the sport will have moved on.

"We will have to see.

"I am doing smaller targets right now, then the Commonwealth Games, and then we'll see after that."

Weir added that he was not sure whether he would compete in next year's International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships in Lyon, saying that he would be discussing his programme soon with Paula Dunn, recently appointed as the UK Athletics Paralympics head coach.

The British Paralympic Athlete of the Year for 2012 said that before London he had "pretty much decided" he would retire afterwards.

David Weir with son Mason London 2012David Weir celebrates winning the marathon, his fourth gold medal of London 2012, with his son Mason

"But I changed my mind straight after the Games," he explained.

"LOCOG and Seb Coe promised the 2012 Paralympics would be the best ever, and that they would be on an equal par to the Olympics.

"They delivered on that.

"To be racing each day in front of 80,000 people was amazing.

"London 2012 was a massive step forward for Paralympic sport. It is going to be a big ask for Rio 2016 to match it.

"But I hope Rio can be just as good, if not better."

Weir dismissed the idea that, after the high of London 2012, he would find it impossible to return to top class racing.

"After the Beijing Paralympics I didn't even want to look at my racing chair until the following February," he said.

"But I have been thinking about getting back into training for the last month.

"I know it is going to kill me on the first day when I get back to it, but I am already preparing for it."

Weir added that he was honoured to be among the 12 shortlisted competitors for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award award along with fellow Paralympians Ellie Simmonds and Sarah Storey.

"To have three Paralympians on the list is a big step forward for Paralympic sport," he said.

"I am proud to be up there with Jess Ennis, Mo Farah, Bradley Wiggins and Sir Chris Hoy.

"Even if we don't get a Paralympian in the top three, it will still be a huge step on."

David Weir is an ambassador for the Aviva Parallel Success programme, providing pathways in to Paralympic athletics. For more information, click here

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