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Weir 'flying' towards possible golden quadruple
12:45pm Wednesday 5th September 2012 in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News
David Weir is "flying" after moving a step closer to a possible golden quadruple with another imperious Olympic Stadium ride this morning.
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."
Asked if he thought Weir was the favourite for the 800m title tomorrow night, he added: "Of course."
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, with confident, stylish and tactically-superb racing.
The 800m was always going to pose his toughest test, with only the top two in each heat qualifying automatically, but Weir looked supremely relaxed as he rolled across the line, sitting back as if without a care in the world.
Hug is the world record holder at the distance, but he is too at 1500m and 5,000m and simply could not live with Weir when it came to the crunch on those occasions.
The Briton is certainly riding the crest of a wave, spurred on by the roar of the crowd, and goes into the final as the fastest qualifier from the three heats.
He now even 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.
Commenting on today's race, he told Channel 4: "I had to keep remembering that there are two slots [to qualify] not three.
"I was a bit tired this morning but I got through.
"I got a bit more sleep than the first night (after his first gold medal). I just need to eat a bit more food tonight and I should be all right for the final."
Weir got just two and a half hours' sleep between his 5,000m title and 1500m heat, but revealed he had managed four and a half last night.
He received another huge ovation as he returned an hour after his race to receive his 1500m medal, the fourth Paralympic gold of his career after winning two in Beijing.
Addressing the crowd between cheers, he said: "I have to be confident now (for the 800m), I feel pretty good, but the T54 event is the toughest in the world."
Elsewhere, Bethany Woodward set a new European record of 29.50secs to reach the final of the 200m T37.
She finished second in her heat, one place ahead of team-mate Jenny McLoughlin who also went through, but Katrina Hart went out.
Long jump silver medallist Stefanie Reid, who lost her lower right leg in a boating accident at the age of 15, qualified for the final of the T44 200m, along with Sophie Kamlish.