Paralympic legend David Weir in Tokyo U-turn as he announces he WILL return to the track for 1,500m and 5,000m as well as the marathon in bid to add to his 10 previous medals at the Games
- David Weir has announced he will return to the track at this summer’s Olympics
- The wheelchair racer retired from the track after the Rio Olympic Games in 2016
- He planned to only compete in the marathon in Japan but has now made a U-turn
- Weir will race in the 1,500 metres and 5,000m as he looks to add to his medals
- The legendary athlete, 42, has already won a total of 10 Paralympic medals
- Find out the latest Tokyo Olympic news including schedule, medal table and results right here.
Paralympic legend David Weir has announced he will return to the track at this summer’s Tokyo Games.
The wheelchair racer retired from the track after Rio 2016 and planned to only compete in the marathon in Japan.
However, Weir has performed a U-turn and now plans to also race in the 1,500 metres and 5,000m as he looks to add to his tally of 10 Paralympic medals.
David Weir (above) has announced he will return to the track at this summer’s Tokyo Games
The 42-year-old made the decision after registering personal bests in the 800m and 1,500m when racing in Switzerland last month.
Weird told Sportsmail: ‘I have got the love and the desire back. I went to Switzerland and got two PBs and I haven’t done that for 11 years.
‘When I turned 40, I thought that was the end of the world. I thought I’m never going to be able to compete with these guys any more.
He retired from the track after Rio 2016 and planned to only compete in the marathon in Japan
However, the wheelchair racer has performed a U-turn and now plans to also race in the 1,500 metres and 5,000m as he looks to add to his tally of 10 Paralympic medals
‘The only reason I went to Switzerland was because I needed to some racing before Tokyo. But I got my confidence back and raced really well.
‘I sat round and looked at the guys and thought, “I deserve to be here, I am as good as them”. It was nice to have that feeling that I belong in that call room with the best wheelchair racers in the world.
‘Paula Dunn (British Athletics Paralympic head coach) has always left the door open for me to compete on the track again. I have got the qualifying times and now it’s just up to the selectors.’
Weir has won six Paralympic gold medals, including four in front of packed houses at London 2012. He failed to make the podium at Rio 2016 but he insists he is putting no extra pressure on himself at Tokyo.
‘I never put targets on myself,’ said Weir. ‘I will do my best to medal. I’ve been very successful on the marathon circuit in being in the top three.
‘If I can do that at the Paralympics, I think that’s a massive achievement after what happened in Rio.
‘It’s been nearly 10 years since 2012 so that will be a massive achievement for me if I medal in Tokyo.’
After Rio, Weir initially said he would ‘never wear the GB vest again’, claiming he had been ‘stabbed in the back’ by British coach Jenni Banks, who he said had accused him of throwing a relay race.
He struggled with depression and separated from his wife Emily, the mother of their three children. But after seeking professional help, he has turned his life around – in and out of the sport.
Weir said: ‘I’m in the best place ever. I have moved to the South Coast, met my partner Victoria and we got engaged on May 27.
‘We are a great team together. Since I’ve met her, I’ve been in a great place because she understands me and my sport.’
Banks, the coach he fell out with, will be in Tokyo – but Weir added: ‘She is still involved but I have been assigned another coach that I’ve worked with before.‘We stay out of each other’s way. That’s the best way to do it. She’s not anything to do with me. I am there to do what I’ve got to do.’