Weir won incredible record number of wheelchair race titles over 26.2-mile course in the capital but revealed he has been battling demons
DAVID WEIR notched up a record SEVEN London Marathon wins in the wheelchair event – and then revealed he had battled with depression since his Rio nightmare.
The six-time Paralympic gold medallist had been bidding for five years to beat Tanni Grey-Thompson’s haul of six and finally achieved it on his 18th outing over the 26.2-mile course in his home city.
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He had to settle for third last year but beat defending champion Marcel Hug by one second in a sprint finish on The Mall to clock 1hour 31min 06sec.
Earlier this year Weir announced he would NEVER compete for Britain again after claiming a national coach accused him of throwing a race in Rio.
Weir, who failed to win a single medal at the Rio Games, had hoped to bring the curtain down on his track career at this summer’s World Para Championships in London back at the Olympic Stadium where he raced to glory at the Paralympics in 2012.
The 37-year-old – dubbed Weirwolf – became a household name when he won four gold medals at the London Games.
But following a furious row in Brazil with Jenni Banks, head of the wheelchair racing programme, he has called time on his international career.
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The admitted that he may put retirement plans on hold and still continue racing on the road but the door remains firmly closed on pulling on a British vest again and also competing on the track.
Weir, who is set to make an official announcement next week, said: “I’ve been suffering depression for the past seven months. After Rio was when it started to be honest.
“It was touch and go a few months ago whether I would even get on the start line here in London. I was in a really dark place.
“Training was the only thing that has kept me going. It was definitely an avenue to channel my anger and frustrations and feeling down. Turn that negative energy into a positive thing.
“I think I’ve banished the Rio demons! I’ve waited five years for this and it’s the best I’ve ever felt in a London Marathon. It’s maybe shown the benefit of concentrating on just one race. Winning is amazing. It’s one of the biggest wins I’ve ever had.”