15 February 2019

Weir headlines British team for World Para Athletics Marathon Championship

Six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir will lead a five-strong British team in the World Para Athletics Marathon Championship on home roads in April.

The World Para Athletics Championships will take place in Dubai in November but the marathon medals are up for grabs seven months earlier as part of the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Weir will be gunning for a ninth London Marathon victory on Sunday 28 April and with world medals now an additional possibility, there is added motivation for the wheelchair racing star.

The 39-year-old – who won Paralympic marathon gold at London 2012 – announced last autumn that he is targeting the event at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, meaning April’s competition will be a prime opportunity to lay down a marker.

David Weir has won a record eight London Marathons in his storied career

He is joined in the T54 race from a British perspective by Commonwealth Games silver medallist Johnboy Smith – who also came third in the Berlin Marathon with a PB of 1:29.44 back in September – and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Simon Lawson.

Derek Rae will represent GB in the T46 marathon, with the British team being rounded out by World Championship debutant Charlotte Ellis.

And with one eye already on Tokyo 2020, British Athletics’ para athletics head coach Paula Dunn is eager to see how the home favourites perform.

“We are delighted that London will once again host the World Championship marathon events in April,” said Dunn.

“It provides our marathon athletes with an essential opportunity to compete for world medals, and in doing so, taking on the best in the world in their classifications, which will be perfect preparation for next year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

“We have a very strong team with consistent performers who have excelled at this event in recent years and Charlotte [Ellis] who will be representing the British team for the first time, so I am excited to see how they perform in London.”

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