GREAT Britain’s David Weir last night set a new world record to win his second gold medal of the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the T54 1500m wheelchair race.
In beating Prawat Wahoram in three minutes, 12.09 seconds, Weir supplemented his T54 5000m final victory on Sunday to take the fourth gold of his Paralympic career and maintain the form that suggests another will come when defending his 800m title.
“I’m overwhelmed really, I’m lost for words,” said Weir, who will today compete for a place in tomorrow’s 800m final. “I thought I had gone too early but all of the endurance work I’ve done in recent weeks saw me through.
“My aim was to get off to a winning start [in the 5000m] because that would give me breathing space to be more relaxed in the other race.
“It’s worked because I felt relaxed and I knew from the warm-up I was hitting top speed and that I had more in me.”
Weir’s victory was not the sole success of the British team as Paul Blake and David Devine respectively took silver and bronze in the T36 400m and T13 1500m finals, and that of Britain’s equestrian team was more significant still as Sophie Christiansen became the first Briton to win a third gold in the Games.
The 24-year-old rode Janeiro 6 to an impressive 84.750 per cent win in the freestyle dressage Grade 1a test to follow the earlier silvers of Sophie Wells and Deb Criddle and increase Britain’s equestrian haul to a grand total of 11 in a competition in which they have won a medal in every event.
There was also swimming success for Heather Frederiksen, who won gold to retain her S8 100m backstroke title, and a silver for Stephanie Millward as Ellie Simmonds and Oliver Hynd both took bronze.
Millward finished behind 12-time gold medallist Natalie du Tout of South Africa in the S9 400m freestyle while Simmonds and Hynd had respectively competed in the S6 50m freestyle and S8 100m backstroke.
“I was nervous again, but I was determined I was going to fight,” said Frederiksen, whose gold was her second medal of the Games to follow the 400m freestyle silver won on Friday.
“The lack of training because of illness meant I had to be strong and hang on.”
Oscar Pistorius returns to action in the heats of the T44 100m at 7pm as well as competing in the 4x100m relay at 10.01pm.
Brothers Ollie and Sam Hynd compete in the 200m medley at 5.30pm. Liz Johnson will attempt to defend her 100m breaststroke title at 7.31pm and Louise Watkins challenges the great South African Natalie du Tour in the 50m freestyle at 8.30pm.
Italy’s former F1 driver Alex Zanardi at 3.10pm competes in the handcycling time trial event.
Peter Norfolk and Andy Lapthorne compete in the quad doubles gold medal match.