Weir wins rumble in The Rocks

By Hannah Cockroft

Multiple London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist, David Weir, snatches victory at the annual GIO Oz Day 10k.

As the GIO Summer Down Under wheelchair race series celebrated its 25th year on the road, the marquee event attracted a field of the worlds most prestigious Paralympic track and road athletes. Following track meets in Canberra and Sydney, central Circular Quay was closed off on 26 January 2014, Australia’s national day, to finish the competition with the GIO Oz Day 10k. Spectators were treated to a rival line up in the men’s race, seeing Kurt Fearnley looking for his record tenth win of the event. But it wasn’t going to be easy for the Australian as he faced tough competition from the world record holder, Switzerland’s Marcel Hug and of course Great Britain’s David Weir. To raise the stakes higher, title sponsors GIO doubled the winner’s prize money, giving the men everything to race for.

Crowds lined the streets in the pouring rain to see over fifty wheelchair athletes tackle two laps of a 5k course. Pushing from Circular Quay Docks, past Sydney Harbour Bridge and through The Rocks, the three men battled for the lead though out the race, leaving it down to the last one hundred metres for a sprint finish. With Fearnley leading and Weir sitting behind, it soon became a one man race as the Weirwolf smoothly pulled away in London style to take the win in 21 minutes and 30 seconds, with Fearnley losing his winners title by just 0.5 of a second.
Following the race, Weir commented “It’s a great race, I’m glad I’ve won it now”.

Weir on the winners podium alongside Fearnley and Hug.

Weir on the winners podium alongside Fearnley and Hug.

In the women’s event, Switzerland’s Manuela Schar took the win in a new course record of 24 minutes, 17 seconds, 24 seconds ahead of 2013 winner Madison De Rozario, with Great Britain’s Shelly Woods finishing in fifth place.

Subedited by Tahlia Banks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.