3d gold on for ‘Weirwolf’ at Paralympics in London

3d gold on for ‘Weirwolf’ at Paralympics in London

LONDON - Agence France-Presse
3d gold on for ‘Weirwolf’ at Paralympics in London

David Weir of Great Britain celebrates as he crosses the line to win the men’s 1500-meter T54 category final at the 2012 Paralympics Games in London. AP Photo

British wheelchair racer David Weir yesterday set the stage for yet another title defense, making the T54 800m final just hours after successfully retaining his 1,500m crown.

The 33-year-old Londoner was again challenged by his great rivals Kurt Fearnley of Australia and Switzerland’s Marcel Hug at the Olympic Stadium but saw off the challenge to qualify for tonight’s final. Combative Weir, dubbed the “Weirwolf” by teammates, was competing just over 12 hours after a partisan 80,000 crowd roared him to victory in the 1,500m final, four years after he won the middle distance double in Beijing.

He has also won the 5,000m gold in London and also goes in the men’s marathon around the streets of central London on the last day of athletics competition on Saturday.

Weir admitted that racing again so soon after the 800m final was “a bit tough” and he only managed four-and-a-half hours’ sleep -- although that was more than the two-and-a-half he got between his 5,000m title and 1,500 heat.

“I felt a bit tired this morning. I did not get enough to eat last night. I need to go home now and eat and recover,” he told reporters.

World record holder Hug, nicknamed the Swiss “Silver Bullet” because of his distinctive silver racing helmet, said he was impressed with Weir’s performance and believed the Briton was favorite to take the title again. “David Weir is just flying. He has all the self-confidence and he has the crowd on his back so that makes him strong,” he added.