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UK Athletics

Weir reflects on successful 2006

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Surrey wheelchair racer David Weir rounded off a terrific year by winning a prestigious British Athletics Writers Association (BAWA) award.
The 27-year-old has been in an outstanding form this year, winning a host of top titles and rewriting the record books in the process.
On Saturday his achievements were recognised when he was presented with the BAWA award for Best Performance in a British Vest.
He received the award – one of just six presented on the night – from Norwich Union Executive Chairman Patrick Snowball.
The award was made at a dinner attended by many of the greats names of British track and field athletics - including Dame Kelly Holmes, David Moorcroft, Alan Wells, David Bedford and David Hemery – as well as many of the stars of the present and, hopefully, the future.
It capped a stunning year that saw Weir win a range of top titles at distances from 100m to the marathon. They included a brilliant hat-trick of gold medals at the International Paralympic Committee World Athletics Championships in September – despite missing some of his training in the middle of the season after injuring himself in a training collision with a steeplechase barrier.
Weir said he was delighted that his achievements in 2006 had been recognised by BAWA.
“It’s been a really tough year and I’m really pleased to get this award,” he said.  “It’s the best year I’ve ever had and it’s hard to choose a highlight.”
In 2006 Weir won the London Marathon and then broke world records over 200m and 400m in Switzerland in May,
He won the T54 1500m wheelchair race at the able-bodied European Championships in Gothenburg in August and followed that up with his successes at the IPC World Championships in Assen.
At the IPC World Championships he took almost half a second off the World Championship record to take gold in the T54 400m, the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team’s first gold on the track in Assen. The following day he took his second gold, winning a cagey 1500m final, then he made it three golds in as many days by winning the 100m final. Weir collected his fourth medal of the championships – a silver in the 200m  - when he just lost out to flying Dutchman Kenny van Weeghel.
“My first goal at the World Championships was to win the 400m, but I really, really wanted to win the 1500m – it’s the blue ribbon event,” he said. “Any one of the 39 competitors could have won it and I didn’t have an easy round.”
He’s planning a quieter year next year in the build up to the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, although he is keen to race in the wheelchair race at the IAAF World Championships in Japan.
“Next year will be a bit of a quieter year and I’m going to pick and choose my races a bit. I may do a few more marathons,” he said.