'Weirwolf' wins marathon for 4 out of 4 as Paralympics enter final stretch
September 10, 2012, 12:09 am TWN
LONDON--Britain's David Weir won the men's wheelchair marathon for his fourth gold of the games, as the London Paralympic Games entered their final lap on Sunday with a valedictory tour of the city's streets.
In a triumphant finish for the host nation, Weir — dubbed “the Weirwolf” — claimed a clean sweep of four golds out of four races, completing the gruelling 42-kilometer (26.2-mile) course in 1:30:20.
“It's a dream come true,” the 33-year-old London Marathon veteran told Britain's Channel 4 television after beating great rivals Marcel Hug, the “Swiss silver bullet,” into silver and Kurt Fearnley of Australia into bronze.
“Obviously I dreamt about winning all my races but it was going to be a tough order. I really had to dig deep.”
Weir, who was born with a severed spinal cord which left him unable to use his legs, won the T54 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m titles on the track.
He also won the 800m and 1,500m middle-distance double in Beijing.
Shirley Reilly of the United States took the gold in the women's wheelchair marathon, improving on the silver she won in the T54 5,000m and her bronze in the 1,500m.
Spain's Alberto Suarez Laso earlier smashed his own world record as he won the men's T12 marathon for visually impaired athletes, with thousands of people out on the streets of central London.
The 45-year-old said it was “incredible” to win the race, the first of four marathons to start and finish outside Buckingham Palace.
“This means the world to me,” Suarez Laso said. “A gold medal in the Paralympics — for me to be here, and on top of that to win, it's amazing.”
Tito Sena of Brazil won the T46 marathon for athletes with one injured or amputated arm.