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 a bid to expand on his 10 previous medals at the Games
- David Weir has announced that he will return to the track during this summer’s Olympics
- The wheelchair racer withdrew from the track after the 2016 Rio Olympics
- He had planned to only participate in the marathon in Japan, but has now made a U-turn
- Weir will race in the 1,500m and 5,000m as he wants to increase his medals
- The legendary athlete, 42, has already won a total of 10 Paralympic medals
- Read the latest Olympic news in Tokyo including schedule, medal table and results here.
Paralympic legend David Weir has announced that he will return to the track at the Tokyo Games this summer.
The wheelchair racer withdrew from the track after Rio 2016 and planned to only compete in the marathon in Japan.
However, Weir has made a U-turn and now plans to race in the 1,500m and 5,000m as well as he looks to expand his tally of 10 Paralympic medals.
David Weir (above) has announced that he will return to the track at the Tokyo Games this summer zomer
The 42-year-old made the decision after setting personal bests in the 800m and 1,500m at his race in Switzerland last month.
Weird told Sportsmail: “I have the love and the desire back. I went to Switzerland and got two PBs and I haven’t done that in 11 years.
“When I turned 40, I thought that was the end of the world. I thought I would never be able to compete with these guys again.
He retired from the track after Rio 2016 and planned to only compete in the marathon in Japan
However, the wheelchair racer has made a U-turn and now plans to race in the 1,500m and 5,000m as well as he looks to expand his tally of 10 Paralympic medals.
“The only reason I went to Switzerland was because I had to race for Tokyo first. But I got my confidence back and raced really well.
“I sat around and looked at the boys and thought, ‘I deserve to be here, I’m just as good as them.’ It was nice to feel like 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 get back on track racing. I have the qualifying times and now it’s up to the selectors.’
Weir has won six Paralympic gold medals, including four to packed houses in London 2012. He failed to make the podium in Rio 2016, but he insists he’s not putting any extra pressure on himself in Tokyo.
“I never set goals for myself,” Weir said. “I’m going to do my best to get a medal. I have been very successful on the marathon circuit by finishing in the top three.
“If I can do that at the Paralympics, I think it’s a huge achievement after what happened in Rio.
“It’s been almost 10 years since 2012, so that will be a huge achievement for me if I win a medal in Tokyo.”
After Rio, Weir initially said he would “never wear the GB vest again,” claiming he was “stabbed in the back” by British coach Jenni Banks, who said he accused him of throwing a relay race. .
He struggled with depression and divorced his wife Emily, the mother of their three children. But after seeking professional help, he has changed his life – in and outside the sport.
Weir said, “I’m in the best place ever. I moved to the south coast, met my partner Victoria and we got engaged on May 27th.
‘We are a great team together. Since I met her, I’ve been in a great place because she understands me and my sport.’
Banks, the coach he argued with, will be in Tokyo, but Weir added: “She’s still involved, but I’ve been assigned a different coach that I’ve worked with before.” We stay out of the way. That’s the best way to do it. She has nothing to do with me. I’m here to do what I have to do.’
No one does more to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes than National Lottery players, who raise around £30 million each week for charities.
Discover the positive impact of playing the National Lottery on sports at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and join by using the hashtags: #TNLAthletes #TracktoTokyo