One of my favourite sporting moments was watching Dave Weir competing in 2012. He won 4 gold medals and it was one of the moments in his career when it felt that he could have won in whatever way he chose to run each race. Each of his finals was incredible to watch (in one, tearing the front of his lycra bodysuit) but my favourite was the 1500m.

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He showed superb patience in allowing others to chase down the quick start from the gun and he waited and waited. With a lap and a half to go it looked like he could have got boxed in but he didn’t try and force his way out. Again he waited and waited. I was commentating on the race for the BBC and it is really tough working on a race when you know someone, because you want them to win but you have to call the race as it is.

In wheelchair racing each chair is about 6 foot long so every position you are further back in the pack you have much further to come around (unlike running) so the timing of the kick and break is vital. But each chair also takes about three-quarters of a lane and every lane you move out an a lap you push 4 metres further.

David Weir wins gold in the 2012 1500m Paralympics

Coming to the final lap he was in a perfect position and hugged the line between lane one and two, making everyone else go further out if they wanted to come around. With 300m to go, he was at the front and he still waited and then you can see the way his pushing technique changed to increase his pace. The noise from the crowd was incredible. If you had just been a spectator you would have had to shout to make yourself heard to whoever was sitting next to you. Even with our headphones on it was almost impossible to hear the other commentators.

And even when he kicked he didn’t go quite flat out. At the 200m mark he picked it up again and then off the bend he held the gap. Dave Weir has a long pushing style where his hand speed may not look as quick as others but he is able to deliver enormous power through the pushrim in the brief time his glove is in contact with the rim. It is only with 50m to go that his hand speed picks up, his push stroke shortens just a tiny amount and you know at that moment his lungs will be at bursting point.

It was an incredible race to watch, as all his events in 2012 were but this is one of the most tightly controlled races I have ever seen and every time I am on edge of my seat watching it. I know he is going to win, but it doesn’t stop the expectation and excitement that I feel.


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