Kurt Fearnley Battles Hometown Favorite David Weir for Long-Distance T54 Wheelchair Dominance
Australian Kurt Fearnley came to London knowing that his long time rival David Weir of Great Britain would challenge him for glory across the middle and long-distance T54 wheelchair races.
A four time Paralympic competitor and two-time men’s T54 wheelchair marathon champion Kurt is a veteran of the sport. He fought valiantly in the T54 5000m, 1500m, 800m and wheelchair marathon finding the podium twice and bringing his career count to 11 Paralympic accolades.
He book-ended his time in London taking second in his first race, the T54 5000m, to hometown favorite David Weir. “That was pretty hard,” Kurt said of the race. "I put myself in a really good space, but just didn’t have it to match him today… I’m happy with [my result], it was hard work.”
Then in his final event, the T54 marathon, during which he was aiming to become the first athlete to win the event for a third consecutive time, he finished in dramatic fashion with less than one second separating the top three contenders. The final result came down to a photo review which placed David Weir in first, Marcel Hug of Switzerland in second and Kurt in third.
“I decided that if I could burn myself on the course I’d be happy,” said Kurt. “Sometimes that’s enough to win the gold and today it wasn’t.”
London may have come to a close, but for Kurt there are still many races to race and grueling training sessions to endure as he’s already looking forward to qualification for the 2016 Games in Rio.