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Weir wins second medal

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David Weir in 5000m


11 September 2008



David Weir took the T54 5000m bronze in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium tonight to go with the 400m silver he won yesterday.

Weir has been suffering with illness over the last few days and it showed in the final stages of a tactical race when the wheelchair racer’s usual finishing spurt deserted him.

Trailing Thailand’s Prawat Wahoram at the bell, Weir looked perfectly placed to pounce, but as he prepared to make his bid for gold with 200m left Wahoram increased his pace and pulled away.

Weir clocked 10:23.03 but was caught on the line by Australia’s Kurt Fearnley.

He said: “It’s another medal, but I really want just one gold. That's what I came for.

“The 5,000m is a very difficult race, even though I hold the world record. It’s tactical and mentally tough.

“I didn't want to go too early, but I did get boxed in for a while and just didn't have enough at the end.”

Weir had hinted after the 400m final that he might abandon one of his five events, but he was in much more positive mood tonight.

“I'm not changing my plans, I'm not a quitter,” he insisted. “They think I have a cold, so I'm trying to get it out of my system. But I'll take medical advice from our support team and listen to what they say.

“Hopefully, in a few days I'll feel much stronger. I know I'm in great shape, as my training has gone so well.”

Beverly Jones finished fifth in the F37 shot put. The former sprinter finished fourth in Athens and was hoping to get among the medals.

“I am disappointed, but I know I did everything I could today,” said Jones. “I was hoping for a season's best but only managed 10.35m."

Rebecca Chin was 10th with 10.47m, a PB for the 16-year-old Welsh student on her Games debut by nearly a metre.

Britain’s three F32/51 discus throwers missed the medals in a high quality final won by Mourad Idoudi of Tunisia with a world record, one of three on the night.

Richard Schabel was eighth, David Gale 11th and Stephen Miller 12th.

"I'm very disappointed and frustrated not to perform better, said Gale, who’s best was 8.88m. “I use a sticky substance on my hand to grip the discus, but it didn't work after the first two throws. My first two throws were OK, but after that I couldn't grip properly."

Miller, who is the defending F32 club champion, was happier with his performance.

"It was really good to get out there and compete,” said Miller. “I am pretty happy with how I threw, after the injury that I had this season. I got a season's best and it was a hard competition, three world records were broken.

"I've got the Club next, so I'm excited. It’s going to be a great competition and I know I'm in good shape."

A “chuffed” Tracey Hinton qualified for the T12 400m B final as a fastest loser in 58.89, missing the A final in which the top four run by just 0.1s. The Cardiff athlete won a silver in this event in Barcelona 16 years ago but despite a big personal best was only the fifth quickest in this evening’s heats.

She said: "It’s a big PB so I'm really pleased. But so close to getting through to the A final, only a tenth of a second this time, after being a few hundredths away in the 100m."

Katrina Hart qualified for the T37 100m final. The 18-year-old Worcester student was a world championships finalist two years ago. She finished fifth in the first heat in 14.94 and went through as a fastest loser but wasn’t satisfied with her performance.

A slightly overwhelmed Jenny McLoughlin didn’t qualify, finishing seventh in the second race in 15.42.

"Its an amazing arena and a bit overwhelming,” she said. “This is a huge experience for me, it’s absolutely fantastic. I equalled my PB, but hoped to go a bit faster."