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weir 'stronger than ever' ahead of marathon

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David Weir, Shelly Woods and Jade Jones

24 April 2015

Six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir (coach: Jenny Archer) admits he is ‘stronger than ever’ ahead of the IPC World Championships Marathon, which takes place at the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday.

Weir will once again go up against Switzerland’s Marcel Hug and while the focus is on the two arch-rivals, the 35 year old has warned against discounting the rest of the field lining up on the start line this weekend.

Weir said: “It’s not just about me and Marcel (Hug), you’ve got to think of the other racers. It’s the World Championships marathon, so everyone is going to be on top of their game. I know he destroyed the field in Boston, but it could be a different story on Sunday.”

“Marcel will dominate this sport – because he’s at the peak age of 30. Physically he will get stronger and stronger and I don’t want to say how that will continue because I’m 35, but I’m stronger than ever.”

‘The Weirwolf’ has missed the last two major championships since London 2012, but is relishing the prospect of pulling on the British vest this weekend with the aim of replicating his performance at the Lisbon Half Marathon last month.

“It always feels good – it’s always an honour to put it on, from the first day to the last day and I always feel proud to race for Great Britain. I’m very patriotic; I love my country so it’s great to race for my country at a World Championships marathon.”

“The good test was the Lisbon Half. Marcel went out to break the world record and I don’t think he expected me to be on his tail all the way through the race. To out sprint him felt good because of the disappointment I had there last year.”

Shelly Woods (Archer), who has two victories to her name at the London Marathon returns to the capital off the back of a sixth place finish at the Boston Marathon last weekend. After facing some testing conditions in America which included 26 mile per hour headwinds, the 28 year old is prepared for the challenge that faces her in two days’ time.

“I’m feeling good – looking forward to the race on Sunday, which will be exciting. I was sixth in Boston so I’m expecting better for London. All my training has been geared towards a flatter course with it being the World Championships, so Boston was a little extra really.

“I’m not putting too much pressure on myself. Obviously you want to get amongst the medals and win one for your country, but for me I’m going to go out there, do the best I can do, and trust in the training you’ve done. I’m fitter, faster and stronger and I can only take confidence in that and see what the race holds. The fire is burning and I’m hungry for some good performances. I know I’m not done.”

After making her debut at last year’s event, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jade Jones (Ian Thompson/Tanni Grey Thompson) is ready for an open race, with her main objective focused on going better than the 1:59.59 set last year. 

“I think it’s going to be difficult – there is such a big field here with it being the World Championships marathon. It very much depends on the weather in terms of how everyone performs. It’s anyone’s game at the minute and quite open in terms of who’s going to win.

“I’d like to beat my time from last year, which would be really good. It’s exciting – it’s like London 2012 is coming back. Everyone will be back on the streets and I don’t think you’d get anywhere near the amount of spectators if it wasn’t in London.”

Also joining the trio in the GB & NI team are Rob Smith (Job King), a third place finisher in 2014, Simon Lawson, who will be looking to improve on his 19th place finish last year and Derek Rae (Ron Morrison), who will make his international debut in the T46 classification.
 
GB & NI marathon team for the IPC World Championships taking place at the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 26 April 2015:

Jade Jones (Ian Thompson/Tanni Grey-Thompson)

Simon Lawson (Ian Thompson)

Derek Rae (Ron Morrison)

Rob Smith (Job King)

David Weir (Jenny Archer)

Shelly Woods (Jenny Archer)

Watch full coverage of the London Marathon on Sunday 26 April from 08:30-10:00, BBC Two and then 10:00-14:30, BBC One.