Wallington wheelchair racer David Weir clinched his second Paralympics gold medal in an incident-packed 1,500m final in the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing on Tuesday.
Weir went into an early lead but then decided to slow up and move out to the third lane after he found himself sliding all over the place in the inside lane, made treacherously slippery after a thunder storm.
Keeping a wise head paid dividends for 29-year-old Weir as the conditions proved the undoing of his main rival, Australian Kurt Fearnley, who slid off the track when challenging for the lead.
Somehow, he managed to get back into the race to take the bronze medal but finished almost four seconds behind Weir.
The gold medal battle was between Weir and Thailand’s Prawat Wahoram.
Weir made no mistake and came storming home in three minutes, 10.34 seconds, to win by 0.34 seconds.
A delighted Weir said: “This one means more than winning the 800m. The 1,500m is the blue riband event in wheelchair racing.
“It was dangerous out there. I took the lead on the first lap but I was sliding all over the place and I could see everyone else was skidding, so I went into lane three.”
The 1,500m was Weir’s fourth final and medal-winning performance of the Paralympic Games and his second gold medal win.
It took three finals to get his first. That was in the 800m, while he has also won a silver (in the 400m) and a bronze (in the 5,000m).