29th January 2011

Ipc World Championships Marathon

30 January 2011

Three-time IPC Athletics World Champion David Weir (coach: Jenny Archer) and World Championships bronze medallist Shelly Woods (coach: Pete Wyman) have withdrawn from the IPC Athletics World Championships marathon this morning after serious concerns were raised about the safety of the course.

The IPC Technical Delegate informed National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) in Christchurch yesterday that there were no road closures as had been previously communicated.

Peter Eriksson, Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team Leader and UKA Head Coach (Paralympic) said:

“According to IAAF rules, under which this event is governed, there has to be complete road closures. Our athletes can be peaking at speeds of 40-50 kph and due to their low racing positions, visibility is poor for passing traffic. 

“Having discussed this at length last night, in addition to the implications of racing, both Shelly and Dave felt it was too dangerous and not acceptable to compete.

“After a hugely successful World Championships overall for the team, we fully support their decision, although obviously the athletes and UK Athletics as a whole are disappointed that they can’t show what great form they’re in. Safety, however, is paramount, and with less than 600 days to go the London 2012 Paralympic Games this presents a danger we are not prepared to take.”