Weir eyes 200m gold
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Tuesday | August 6, 2013
Olympic 200m bronze medallist Warren Weir has been growing from strength to strength, and after last year's surprise podium finish in London, the Racers Track Club man has drawn his battle lines ahead of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics.
The national 200m champion and second fastest man this year - with a time of 19.79 - has his cross hairs set on a better-quality medal this time around, declaring that he is ready to take another step out of the shadows and closer to the sprinting spotlight.
"I am looking forward to go on the podium again, higher up the podium, and also with a faster time and I am looking forward to that shiny gold medal," Weir stated.
Months after switching to the event, Weir followed training partners Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake to the finish line in the 200m final at the London Olympic Games.
That was a shock to many, but after a more dominant set of performances already this season, Weir will walk into Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium full of confidence and belief.
"At last year's Olympics, I was a secret; this year, I am no secret, but I have put in a lot of hard work and I am pleased with my time, 19.79, which I did at the national trials," Weir told The Gleaner in an interview yesterday.
FEELING PRETTY GOOD
"I have run more 19-second times than I did last year, so I'm feeling pretty good about that," he added.
Weir has dipped below 20 seconds four times in his last five races this season, compared to two 19-second clockings in 2012, including his bronze medal-winning 19.84 inside the London Olympic Stadium.
"It's down to a mixture of learning the event more and also a heightened confidence and also wanting to be dominant every time I step on the track," Weir explained.
"I am here as the world number two, with the second fastest time, but I am looking simply to run the race one round at a time and treat each round like it's my final run," he continued.
Weir also admits being pleasantly surprised with his meteoric rise, after he was convinced to switch from the sprint hurdles to the 200m by his coach Glen Mills at the back end of the 2011 season.
"I didn't even see myself as a finalist before the Olympics, but I am feeling pretty confident about my chances here and treating everyone like they are an enemy; a threat to me. Yes, even Usain Bolt as well, everyone is my rival, even myself," he declared, taking a friendly jab at his friend and PlayStation nemesis, Bolt, the double Olympic champion and world record holder.
Still, Weir is not getting carried away, but he does take comfort in his conviction that he is comprehensively better than he has ever been.
"A lot of people realised after the Olympics that I got a lot of beating because I wasn't strong enough, so we worked in the gym on strength and improved my technique as well. We also did some work on the mental aspect of things, so I now consider myself to be stronger physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually," Weir underlined.