David Weir: Weirwolf of London is still hungry for records

 

Athletics Correspondent

How do you follow London 2012? It’s a quandary that has bedevilled the likes of Jessica Ennis-Hill, Bradley Wiggins and David Weir.

While Ennis-Hill has had injury to contend with and Wiggins paints the picture of being somewhat tormented by his loss of form and fitness last year, Weir appears to have taken the step back from the competition limelight in his stride.

As majestic as the four-time London gold medallist was during nine heady days in September 2012, behind the scenes the 34-year-old has habitually been a worrier, fretting about niggles, his own form and fitness and the capabilities of his rivals.

But it is amazing what a quartet of golds draped around your neck can do, Weir claiming this is the happiest he has ever been in his skin as he prepares to return to competition on British soil in tomorrow’s Silverstone Half Marathon.

“I know there’s nothing left to prove,” says the wheelchair racer, who in the wake of London packed up his racing lycra, took four months off and enjoyed his moment of glory.

There was an attempt to win a seventh London Marathon title last year – he is currently tied for the record on six with Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson – but, with so few weeks of training in his arms, he understandably faltered home in a disappointing fifth place.

At the time, he was, he admits, “gutted” but reflecting later he realised it was no bad thing, that he had been right to take time off with his girlfriend Emily, his daughter Ronie and the couple’s two children Mason and Tillia.

Looking back, he says: “2013 wasn’t about times and medals, it was about recovery from 2012, not just 2012 but the years building up to it. I expected mentally to feel like that with the amount of major championships I’d done. I had to stop, there was no choice.”

But Weir is now back and it was on the streets of Sydney on 26 January that the Weirwolf officially marked the recapture of his best 2012 form. Of course, there had previously been a win at the London Anniversary Games, as well as the Great North Run in the latter part of the 2013 season, but Weir knows that it was while basking in the Australian sunshine in the Sydney 10k that he was properly back.

The irony is not lost on the proud Brit that the victory was delivered on Australia Day over Australian rival Kurt Fearnley – “we’ve not done that well in Australia in sport recently,” he says deadpan.

“Josh Cassidy [one of his main rivals] said to me it’s the best shape he’s ever seen me in in January but I didn’t believe it until we raced,” he says. “Mentally and physically, right now is the best I’ve felt since London 2012. It’s nice to get the hunger and confidence back.”

But where does the hunger stem from exactly for an athlete who admits he has nothing else left to prove? He has a myriad of career goals left, not least the next Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

“I’ll 100 per cent be in Rio,” he says without even a modicum of doubt in his voice. “I don’t know what events I’ll do – it’ll be good to do all four again [the 800m, 1500m, 5000m and the marathon] but I don’t know what sort of shape or form I’ll be in.

“But it’s not just that. There’s lots of stuff still to do on my CV. I want that seventh London Marathon title, I also want to win the Boston Marathon this year. I know that’d mean winning both marathons in the space of the week but I believe I can do it.

“It’s a big year on the track too. I want that British record for the 10k - I want all those records, I want world records, too. I’ve got races in Switzerland and then there’s the Commonwealth Games where I’ll go in the 1500m. I know I’m not getting any younger but I’ve still got the top speed to match Marcel Hug [his Swiss rival] and he’s 27. That makes me happy. I still don’t think I’ve peaked as an athlete.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever