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WEIR HONES IN ON FOURTH GOLD.

Byline: GUY ASPIN

DAVID Weir has been studying DVDs of the Paralympic marathon course to leave nothing to chance in his pursuit of quadruple gold.

The 33-year-old made it a magnifi-cent three out of three with a thrilling 800 metres victory at a deafening Olympic Stadium on Thursday as he continued his domination of the wheelchair races.

Now only today's finale stands between the Londoner and the clean sweep which will seal his status as the hero of the Games.

Weir will start the 26.2-mile race as favourite, a tag he is more than accustomed to as a six-time winner of the London marathon.

The looped Paralympic course follows a different route, though, featuring one 2.2-mile and four eight-mile laps, taking in sights such as St Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament.

Asked how much reconnaissance he had done, Weir said: "Lots, lots of DVDs, sitting on my laptop and watching it.

"The course is very twisty. It's not going to be banging out top speeds for a long while so hopefully I can get the endurance and get through it. We'll see."

Today could represent Weir's last Paralympic race, with the athlete himself insisting he had yet to make a decision over whether to carry on for four years to Rio. If it should prove a last hurrah, the Weirwolf would dearly love to sign off in style.

That has certainly been his trademark on the track over the past week, with confident, powerful and perfectly-timed racing leaving capacity crowds enthralled.

His achievements so far - he attributed them to "hard training sessions in pitch black darkness in January when it's -10" - have taken his career Games gold medal haul to five and prompted congratulatory Twitter messages from the likes of Usain Bolt. Weir even now has his own battle cry thanks to the werewolf howls his team-mates have developed, adapted from the 1970s rock song Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon, which was played in the stadium ahead of his last race.

Those howls will no doubt return on the streets of the capital, when there could be double cause for celebration with Shelly Woods a contender in the women's race.

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WATER BABE: Ellie Simmonds powers to a silver medal in the women's 100m Freestyle - S6 final.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Sep 9, 2012
Words:385
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