Paralympic Games: Dogged Devine mounts late surge to secure 800m bronze
DAVID Devine claimed his second Paralympic medal in two days by coming from way back to win 800 metres bronze at the Olympic Stadium.
The Liverpool athlete, who finished third over 1500m last night, looked well out of contention in the four-strong T12 race coming off the final bend last night, but came storming down the home straight to snatch a medal by 0.04 seconds. The 20-year-old, who has a visual impairment, reeled in Cuban Lazaro Rashid to just pip him on the line.
Neither athletes nor crowd knew who had got there and the result seemed to take an age to come up on the big screen, but the huge roar which greeted it told the story. Devine, whose time was 1min 58.72secs, said: “I had to go up to an official to find out where I’d come. When he told me, I was made up. My legs felt so heavy. I couldn’t get going at all, so to have won a medal, I’m made up. I would have gone faster if I’d just had another day to prepare for this race. I don’t do enough speed work to expect to be so successful in the 800m, so I was delighted to get a medal.”
David Weir, meanwhile, is “flying” after moving a step closer to a possible golden quadruple with another imperious ride yesterday. The wheelchair racer, back on the track less than 13 hours after winning his second title of London 2012, cruised into the final of the T54 800 metres.
The 33-year-old, already the 5,000m and 1500m champion, was content to sit behind Swiss rival Marcel Hug for the first lap but, when Australia’s Kurt Fearnley also came up to challenge, moved into the lead with 350m to go and then hit the turbo charge to roar away from the field. The Londoner had plenty of time to ease down before he crossed the line in one minute 37.09 seconds, more than a second clear of Hug.
The Swiss racer said: “David Weir is racing very well, he is just flying, he has all the self-confidence and he has the crowd on his back so that makes him strong.”
Weir, who also competes in the marathon on Sunday, is fast becoming the hero of the Stratford stadium in the same way Mo Farah did at the Olympics.
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