London Marathon: David Weir aims to equal wheelchair record

Britain's top wheelchair racer David Weir wants to create his own piece of history in Sunday's London Marathon.

A sixth win for Weir in the race would see him equal the record number of wins held by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.

"I didn't realise that I could equal Tanni's record - I thought she had won seven times," Weir told BBC Sport.

"When I found out I was wrong, it gave me that boost to do that bit more just to try and match her. It would be a real honour to be alongside her."

Marathon facts

  • Among Weir's rivals on Sunday will be Josh Cassidy, who won the 2010 race when Weir suffered a flat tyre
  • Cassidy won last weekend's Boston Marathon, breaking the course record

Weir, from Wallington in south-west London, has had a special relationship with the London wheelchair race for many years.

He made his debut in the mini-marathon as an eight-year-old and, after finishing fourth in his first appearance in the main race in 2000, won it two years later, becoming the first athlete to win both the junior and senior events.

Further victories followed in 2006, 2007 and 2008 before last year's sprint win over veteran Heinz Frei on The Mall saw him return to the winners' rostrum.

A win at the Lisbon Half Marathon last month in a new world record time means the 32-year-old is in good form in what could be the biggest year of his life.

"Training-wise, I've had the best winter I've had for a long time," he said.

"I've been in the gym since September trying to ensure my shoulder is in good shape and I've had no injuries so it has been a good strength and conditioning winter.

"The London Marathon is up there with all of my achievements because it was the first ever race I did as a young lad and then it was the first big race I won, so it has a special place in my heart.

"It's my home race and I love it. It's part of my plans at the start of every year. It's been part of my life for 22 years or so."

Weir secures fifth wheelchair marathon win

A good performance by Weir will also be a confidence boost for the London 2012 Paralympics, where he will be hoping to better his two gold-haul from Beijing.

But as he prepares for his fourth Games, he is trying not to let the focus of a Paralympics in his home city take over his time.

"I try not to think about the Games so much," he says.

"I know it is in the media a lot and a lot of people are counting down the days and the weeks but I have quite a few other races before that. I want to concentrate on them and make sure I perform well in those before the Games themselves.

"After the London Marathon, when I start my track training, I will then start thinking about what I need to do on the track and a bit more about the Paralympics."

LONDON MARATHON

  • Date: Sunday, 22 April
  • Coverage start time: 0830 BST

Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC One HD, Radio 5 live and online; live text on BBC Sport website; highlights on BBC Two at 1700 BST; watch again on iPlayer