David Weir vows to push himself to the limit in London Marathon

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David Weir is proud to be on the verge of competing in a 22nd consecutive London Marathon and is ready to push himself to the limit to secure another victory.

The 42-year-old has enjoyed huge success in England’s capital, triumphing on eight occasions in the men’s wheelchair race.

Weir, widely regarded as one of Britain’s great Paralympians, was seconds away from making it nine London titles in 2020 but was pipped to top spot by Canada’s Brent Lakatos and faces competition from Berlin champion Marcel Hug and American Daniel Romanchuk on Sunday.

The home favourite said: “I just love the race. It is where I started as an eight-year-old doing the mini marathons and I don’t think there is anyone else who has done 22 marathons in a row.

“I am pretty proud to be here for my 22nd. I have been lucky with injuries and stuff and I am just motivated.

“I am probably at the back end of my career but I love doing the marathons. I think I am still third in the rankings, I haven’t looked after Sunday, so I will keep plodding along until I can’t do anymore.”

A six-time gold medallist at the Paralympics, Weir has made changes in an effort to make more memories in his home city.

Since he returned from an ultimately disappointing Tokyo Games, the Londoner has reverted to his old wheelchair and is happy with the technique he has developed with hard gloves this year.

“It is the old course again,” Weir pointed out in another difference to 2020.

“Last year the course didn’t really suit me because it is completely flat and Brent is 60 kilos. I am probably nearly double his weight so he was a lot quicker on that course. But it was the first time I had beaten Marcel for a few years so it was nice to do that.

“Daniel and Marcel are on another level. They are from another universe at the moment so it will be tough on Sunday but that is why I am here. I like challenges and I love pushing myself to the limit.”

Crowds will also return for Sunday’s race having been kept away last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think there will be more of a crowd than ever because they haven’t seen a marathon for a few years now, so it will be awesome. It will be electric and loud, what London is all about,” Weir added.

The 2020 London Marathon took place without spectators last year
The 2020 London Marathon took place without spectators last year (Ian Walton/PA)

“The crowd do push you along, especially if you are struggling. You don’t really get the crowd on any other marathon like that so it is always special to race in London. I think that is what brings me back, the crowd being on the street from start to finish.”

A potential victory for Weir could be one of the final images of the London Marathon shown on the BBC with the broadcaster’s contract with the blue-riband event due to run out this year and talk they could lose a race they have shown since its inception in 1981.

Weir said with a smile: “There is other channels isn’t there?

“No, it would be a loss if the BBC lose it but I am sure other channels will fight to host the London Marathon.”

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