Paralympic star David Weir suffers Commonwealth Games heartbreak after his tyre BURST during the wheelchair marathon in Birmingham… allowing English team-mate Johnboy Smith to take gold
- David Weir was well on course to take his first Commonwealth Games medal
- But a puncture late in the race forced him to trail home in seventh place
- Gold medal winner Johnboy Smith admitted he was fortunate to earn victory
- Smith then called on the Queen to give Weir a knighthood after his win
David Weir was left to rue his bad luck and a cursed decision after losing the wheelchair marathon to a puncture on Saturday.
The 43-year-old, an eight-time winner of the London Marathon, was cruising to the gold medal with a 90-second lead when his tyre loudly burst just six miles from the line.
What made the scenario all the more galling was his admission that he had debated with his wife whether to bring a spare to a race for the first time in his career. ‘I thought if I take a spare I would jinx myself,’ he said. ‘I told my wife if I have a big lead I will have time to change. I should have trusted my gut.’
England’s David Weir reacts after finishing 7th in the Men’s T53/54 wheelchair marathon
Supporters applaud the legendary wheelchair racer after he suffered a late race puncture
After Weir’s setback, which dropped him to seventh, the race was won by his England team-mate Johnboy Smith, 32, who suffered partial paralysis aged 16 when he was shot in the back by a farmer after being mistaken for a poacher.
Smith said: ‘The better man didn’t win, I take my hat off to Dave.
‘Your majesty the Queen, give David Weir a knighthood, make him Sir David Weir – that man deserves it.’
Johnboy Smith (left) took gold for England ahead of Scotland’s Sean Frame (right) who saw off a challenge from Simon Lawson to take silver medal in the event
Smith admitted he was fortunate to pick up the win and called for Weir to be knighted
Weir, who also has six Paralympic golds and six world titles, admitted that he never even considered bringing a spare wheel and that he was tempted to just retire after the puncture if he didn’t have friends in support.
‘I have never brought a spare [wheel], in a race, ever, in my life,’ Weir told the BBC.
‘I had a lot of confidence coming in here, I thought if I take a spare I am going to jinx myself.
‘If I didn’t have my mates in the last 4km running beside me I probably would have stopped. I probably would have just pulled over and given up.’
Scotland’s Sean Frame beat England’s Simon Lawson in the race for silver.
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