David Weir has confirmed he will never return to racing on the track but gave his strongest hint yet that Sunday’s London Marathon may not be his last competitive outing.
Weir, 37, turned his back on representing his country after a disastrous Rio Paralympics, at which a leading British Athletics coach allegedly threw his wheelchair and accused him of sabotaging a race.
The six-time Paralympic champion announced his retirement from international duty ahead of the London World Championships this summer and he confirmed that focusing on road racing had renewed his enjoyment in the twilight years of his career.
“I’ve enjoyed the training and concentrating on just the one event, not having lingering GB matters or worrying about the World Championships,” he said.
“I can concentrate on road racing and the marathon. It’s been a joy to have one worry and not things like the 400m, 800m, and getting fit on the track. I felt I couldn’t do any more on the track. I had won everything I could win and had world records.
“On the road I feel more comfortable, more relaxed and, at my age, my endurance is getting better and my speed is not getting any slower on the road.”
A six-time London Marathon champion, Weir last won the race in 2012 but goes into Sunday’s edition fresh from victory in the Paris Marathon earlier this month.
Despite suggestions that he could retire after what will be his 18th London Marathon, Weir now appears likely to extend his road racing career and potentially extend his streak in his home town to 20 successive years.
“I’m going to make an announcement when my manager comes back from holiday next week,” he said. “It might not be my last race. Eighteen on the spin is quite a lot to be honest but would it be nice to round it off to 20? I don’t know. Let’s see on Sunday.
“Could I just do London every year? Maybe. Paris as a warm-up. There are other races I haven’t done that in the back of my mind I would like to do, like Chicago and Tokyo.”
His target for Sunday is more obvious: “I wouldn’t train over the winter just to make up the numbers. I do it because I think I can win it.”