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From James Toney in Tokyo
David Weir will bring the curtain down on his track athletics career in Tokyo tomorrow - but isn’t ruling out a seventh Paralympics in Paris.
After a disappointing show over 5,000m last week, the six-time champion qualified for the T54 1500m final before switching his focus to the marathon later this week.
Five years ago Weir left the Games in Rio with the blood boiling, a furious bust-up with then British coach Jenni Banks plastered all over the press, the athlete vowing next to wear a British vest again.
But he claims a calmer approach - and new perspective about his achievements - have helped him find peace, good news for an athlete who often gave the impression of racing angry.
“I’m not saying no to Paris but for the track, this will be my last,” he said.
“I want to finish on the track on my terms and I feel like I was forced to finish in Rio. I was bitter and angry for a long time but now I am calmer.
"It is funny because a lot of the young athletes talking to older ones are saying Dave spoke to me this morning, or Dave is really happy. I don’t think I have changed but a lot of people say I seem a lot happier and relaxed around people and not as tense.
“I’m not thinking about a medal, my aim was to make the final. I’ve got no expectations, if the race is tactical and slower then I might have a chance.”
Weir - an eight-time London Marathon winner - will continue on the road beyond these Games, confident in the knowledge that aged 42 he is still one of the best in the world in the big city racing circuit.
And at least he doesn’t have to worry about the heat in Tokyo for this weekend’s tussle over 26 miles, the current furnace like temperatures are expected to plunge.
“It looks like it is going to rain and get a bit cooler in the next few days,” he said. “I certainly won’t mind that.”
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