Great Britain’s multiple Paralympic and World Champion David Weir continued his winning streak at the weekend, as many of the world’s best wheelchair racers gathered at the Swiss Open Nationals in Pratteln.
In the race of the weekend Weir, who won three gold medals at January’s IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand as well as April’s London marathon, came head-to-head with rivals Kurt Fearnley of Australia and Switzerland’s Marcel Hug over 5,000m.
After taking all of Weir’s World records last year, Hug has struggled of late against his British rival finishing second to him over the 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m at the World Championships.
And so it was to be again on Saturday with Weir edging out Hug in a epic photo finish over 5,000m. Both recorded a time of10:24.39, well within the 10.50.00 A Qualification Standard for London 2012. Paralympic and World Champion Marathon specialist Kurt Fearnley came third in 10:25.36.
In addition to finishing first in the 5,000m, Weir came second to Germany’s Marc Schuh in the 400m and was third in the 1,500m behind France’s Julien Casoli and Hug who finished first and second respectively.
The ‘Swiss Silver Bullet’ Marcel Hug did record a victory on home soil though wining the 10,000m, an event he took gold in at the IPC Athletics World Championships. Canada’s Josh Cassidy was second.
Other highlights of the weekend including Canada’s Michelle Stilwell who won three gold medals and a silver in Christchurch, claiming victory in the women’s 100m and 200m.
Over 150 wheelchair athletes from all around the world took part in the Swiss Open Nationals, with many making the A Qualification Standard for events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.