Six-time Paralympic gold medallist forms part of six-strong GB team to compete at London Marathon in April
David Weir is looking forward to competing in a GB vest once again when the IPC World Championships marathon takes place in London this spring.
The six-time Paralympic gold medallist has been named as part of a six-strong Great Britain team that will race on the streets of the British capital on April 26.
Last October it was announced that the Virgin Money London Marathon would host the world marathon event ahead of the championships taking place in Doha, Qatar, from October 22-31 as the spring date better suited the race schedules of the leading marathon racers.
“It was heart-breaking having to pull out of the team for the IPC European Championships last summer, but I’m really looking forward to getting back in a GB vest and testing myself among the very best in the world,” said Weir, who missed the Europeans in Swansea through injury.
“We’re going to have the home support behind us and if we can deliver, it will be a real boost for the team ahead of Doha in October.”
The 35-year-old, who has his eye on a record seventh London Marathon win after finishing second to Switzerland’s Marcel Hug in 2014, added: “Just a second separated the top three last year and I’m sure it’s going to go down to the wire again in 2015.
“It would mean a lot to get the record-breaking seventh in London and win gold for the team, but first and foremost I’m focused on ensuring I’m in the best possible condition at the end of April ready to attack the race.
“The race will give me a real gauge of what I need to do between now and Rio to make sure that I can add to the six gold medals I’ve won at Paralympic Games.”
Joining Weir on the GB team is his training partner and former London Marathon winner Shelly Woods, double European medallist Jade Jones, T52 1500m European silver medallist Rob Smith and 2014 Bupa Great North half-marathon runner-up Simon Lawson. Derek Rae makes his international debut lining up in the T46 category.
“Racing in London ahead of Doha will certainly give the athletes the excitement of a home crowd and hopefully that will spur them on to challenge for the medal places,” said Paralympic head coach Paula Dunn.
“We are very fortunate to have some of the world’s best wheelchair racers, and I’m sure they will equip themselves well going into London.
“There is a lot at stake with not only the prestige of the marathon but also giving the team a bit of a head start when it comes to flying out to the Middle East in October.”
GB & NI marathon team for the IPC World Championships