British wheelchair racer David Weir completed a gold-medal sweep of his four events at the London Paralympics by winning the T54 marathon on the final day.
Weir, 33, won a sprint finish yesterday ahead of Marcel Hug of Switzerland and Australia’s Kurt Fearnley to follow his victories in the 800-meter, 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter events.
“I had to be in a super-human state to win four and I’ve done it,” Weir said after joining cyclist Sarah Storey as Britain’s most successful athlete at the games with four golds. “It was the toughest race I’ve ever raced in my entire life.”
Weir’s titles helped the host nation finish third in the medals table behind China and Russia. China topped the count with 95 golds and 231 total medals and Russia had 36 golds among its 102 medals. Britain’s tally of 120 medals included 34 golds.
In other marathon categories, Spain’s Alberto Suarez Laso broke his own world record in the T12 class, with Tito Sena of Brazil claiming the T46 gold. Shirley Reilly of the U.S. won the women’s T54 race.
Russia beat two-time defending champion Ukraine 1-0 with a goal from Eduard Ramonov in the men’s seven-a-side soccer final. Iran defeated Brazil 5-0 in the bronze medal match.
Ryley Batt scored 37 points as Australia beat Canada 66-51 in the wheelchair rugby final. The U.S. won the bronze medal.
Over 11 days of competition, more than 4,000 athletes from 164 teams competed in a series of classes across 21 sports depending on their impairment. The track and field competition alone produced more than 100 world records.
“Incredible people have performed feats we hardly thought possible,” Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London 2012 organizing committee for the Olympic games and Paralympics, said at last night’s closing ceremony. “Our minds were opened to what people can do, and to what can be achieved by sheer talent and determination.”