The highlights of last weekend, including a round-up of the area relays
David Weir challenges Mo Farah to 400m head-to-headJune 30, 2014
Six-time Paralympic gold medallist says he’d like to race double world and Olympic champion as he helped launch new Kew Gardens junior wheelchair event
First it was Usain Bolt and Mo Farah going head-to-head over 600m, now David Weir has challenged double world and Olympic champion Farah to a charity race over 400m.
Six-time Paralympic gold medallist Weir launched a new junior wheelchair event at the Royal Botanic Gardens as part of the Richmond Running Festival taking place on September 21 and used the opportunity to propose the challenge.
“I’d love to take the challenge with Mo and try and beat him over a 400m,” said Weir. “I think it would be a very close race as Mo is a phenomenal athlete who gave me inspiration at London 2012.
“It would be good for both our charities. We could get some sponsors involved with money going towards the Weir Archer Academy and Mo Farah Foundation.”
It would be an intriguing battle, with Weir’s 400m best currently set at 46.02 from 2008, while Farah is famous for finishing 5000m races with a final lap as quick as 50 seconds.
Commenting on the potential Weir v Farah head-to-head, Richmond Running Festival race director Tom Bedford said: “I would love to see that. Mo would get a great start but once the Weirwolf gets rolling who knows what would happen in the final 50 metres! If I had to choose I would go with David by a wolf whisker.”
Farah launched the Richmond Running Festival in Kew Gardens last year and the new junior wheelchair race forms part of the Richmond’s ‘London 2012 Olympic legacy programme’ supported by Weir and his coach Jenny Archer’s charity, the Weir Archer Academy.
Young wheelchair athletes between the ages of 11 and 17 will have the chance to compete in Kew Gardens in September before 6000 adults take part in the Kew Gardens 10km and Visit Richmond half marathon races.
“I am delighted to be able to launch this fantastic junior wheelchair event,” said Weir. “After training so many miles in nearby Richmond Park I am pleased that London 2012 has inspired Kew Gardens to host Paralympic champions of the future.”
The event has been added to the Nike Kids’ Mile races put on by the Richmond Running Festival that will invite over 1000 school children between the ages of four and 15 to take part in afternoon races free of charge. Every child will receive a medal, a Nike t-shirt and a special autograph signed by an Olympian.
» For further information on the Richmond Running Festival see richmondrunningfestival.com