Paralympic gold medalist David Weir’s preparations for January’s IPC Athletics World Championships were given a boost this weekend when he won the ING New York Marathon for the first time in his career.
It was a close race until the very end with Weir having to outsprint his Japanese rival Masazumi Soejima in the final two hundred metres through Central Park. In the end the British athlete won by just 1.48 seconds.
Weir also beat Australian Kurt Fearnley, who was looking for his fifth title in New York. Weir’s tactic was to stay with Fearnley for as long as possible before he and Soejima eventually broke free to make it a battle to the last.
Tatyana McFadden from the USA won the women’s wheelchair race followed by her compatriots Christina Ripp and Amanda McGrory. British athlete Shelly Woods, who started the women’s New York wheelchair marathon as favourite, finished seventh.
Fearnley’s next chance to beat Weir is at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships, where they will be facing each other in the marathon on 30 January.
The 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships will take place from 21-30 January in Christchurch, New Zealand. More than 1,000 athletes from over 70 countries will participate in what will be the last major international gathering before the London 2012 Paralympic Games.