England’s David Weir admitted he was just desperate after losing the Commonwealth Games marathon title to a puncture.
The six-time Paralympic winner had a problem with about 10 kilometers to go and was caught by winner Johnboy Smith.
The 43-year-old Weir, who has just one Commonwealth gold – the 1500m in 2014 – held a nearly three-minute lead before the edition and eventually finished seventh in Saturday’s T53/54 event in Birmingham.
“I’m desperate and I’ve never felt despair in a race before,” he said.
“By chance I was talking to my wife the other day and said that if I had a big lead I could even afford to change my tyres.
“In the end I decided not to take any spare parts with me, I should have trusted my gut feeling. (Before I punctured) I flew.
“Where I come from, on a council estate, I don’t give up.”
Smith won in an hour, 41 minutes and 15 seconds ahead of Scotsman Sean Frame and his England team-mate Simon Lawson.
But the 32-year-old, who won silver at the 2018 Gold Coast T54 marathon, paid tribute to Weir.
He said: “I didn’t know he had a problem. I saw him from about 50 meters away. I shouted: “What happened?”. I then cursed a little out loud so I apologize to everyone if it’s on camera. I didn’t want to win by default, but I won gold and I deserve gold.
“If he hadn’t had this apartment, I don’t know what would have happened. But I could have closed the gap. It would have been a sprint finish. I won through good circumstances.
“Don’t write off David Weir. He’s not an old man, he’s a top athlete.
“If Her Majesty the Queen is watching or listening, knight him. He deserves to be Sir David Weir.”
Australia’s Madison de Rozario won the women’s T53/54 race ahead of England’s Eden Rainbow-Cooper and Shelly Oxley-Woods.
Victor Kiplangat of Uganda won the men’s race in two hours, 10 minutes and 55 seconds, despite seemingly taking the wrong route at one point.
He still won by a minute and 34 seconds over Tanzania’s Alphonce Simbu, while England’s Jonathan Mellor was sixth.
“The people on the bikes confused me. They told me to turn back but I still made it to the finish,” added Kiplangat.
Australia’s Jessica Stenson, who has previously won two bronze medals, claimed the women’s title in two hours, 27 minutes and 31 seconds.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/david-weir-birmingham-commonwealth-gold-coast-tanzania-b2134706.html David Weir suffers from ‘despair’ after suffering a puncture at the Commonwealth Games marathon.