PARALYMPICS LONDON 2012: Weir hails 5,000m win as he target for the Games
WHEELCHAIR racer David Weir raised both hands in celebration as he crossed the finish line to win the 5,000m title - following the lead of Olympic team-mate Mo Farah at the Paralympics.
GOLD: David Weir wins his first gold at the London 2012 Paralympics, following the lead of Olympic team-mate Mo Farah to win the 5,000m
The 32-year-old is competing at his fourth Paralympic Games and won golds over 800m and 1500m last time around in Beijing, but the T54 5,000m title had so far eluded him.
“This was the one I wanted to win and it was special doing it in my home town,” said Weir, after getting his London 2012 campaign off to the perfect start.
“The crowd gave me such a massive lift. It’s indescribable what it does for you.
“It was a dream come true tonight. It’s taken hard work and dedication to get here.
“I was in great form coming into this and everything I have done in the last year has been for this.
“The race went well tactically and I was confident coming into the final bend."
Weir had covered every break during a typically cagey 5,000m final. He tailed Switzerland’s Marcel Hug over the last 600m and then punched for home 200m out.
His emotions were clear to see as he crossed the finish line with arms aloft to win in 11:07.65 while Australia’s Kurt Fearnley took silver and Julien Casoli bronze.
But Weir returns to action on Monday morning in the first heat of the 1,500m, scheduled to get underway just over 12 hours after his win.
“I’ve got a tough heat and an early start, but I’m feeling more relaxed and confident now I’ve got the first one out of the way,” he added.