Kingston AC & Polytechnic Harrier David Weir may insist he feels like a new man, but one thing remains the same – his desire to win.
Just 12 months ago Weir was preparing himself for another cortisone injection in his shoulder, something that was fast becoming second nature with the injury continuing to hamper the double Paralympic champion.
But fast forward a year and shoulder worries are a thing of the past for the 33-year-old wheelchair racer, who this year equalled Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s record in winning a sixth London Marathon title.
That isn’t all Weir has had to cheer about in Paralympic year, having already claimed gold at the London 2012 stadium when he raced to 1,500m victory at the London Disability Athletics Challenge in May.
But, despite enjoying a golden season already, Weir is nowhere near finished, eager to put his rejuvenated shoulder to the test on the biggest stage of all.
“I had a really busy winter this season trying to get over my shoulder injury and I am really pleased with how it all went,” said Weir, speaking at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games disability athletics finals at Mile End Stadium.
“This time last year I was gearing myself up for another cortisone injection to deal with a problem that had been troubling me for a couple of years.
“I wanted to do it the right way and make sure it wasn’t bothering me this time around unlike last year and, although it was a really tough winter, I think you can see from my results that it has worked.
“In all of my 1500m races this year I have gone under three minutes and I don’t think there is anyone else in the world that has done that.
“I have had a good season and the shoulder is feeling good but it will count for nothing so I just have to keep working at it and make sure the good season continues for a few more months.”
With a new baby girl on the way, Weir admits that as soon as London 2012 lights turn off so will he, spending some long-awaited time with friends and family.
But with the Games just two months away, Weir is adamant he is not about to slow down just yet.
“I am doing a Diamond League meeting next month and that will be a really good competitive race,” he added. “But other than that I am doing a few small races that are nothing more than a bit of race practice really.
“I am also going out to a training camp in Portugal for 10 days to try and get away from the hype of it all. It is all about going through the motions and getting into race mode to make sure I am ready to hit the Games as best as I can.”
Balfour Beatty has agreed to support the London Youth Games through to at least 2015, meaning £1.1m worth of funding post-2012 and a total contribution of £2.5m since 2007.