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London Marathon 2007

Shelly Woods and Dave Weir are presented with their prizes by Dame Mary Peters
Woods and Weir are presented with their prizes by Dame Mary Peters
Britain's David Weir won a sprint finish to defend his wheelchair title in Sunday's Flora London Marathon.

Meanwhile, Shelly Woods, 20, took the the women's race, finishing in one hour, 50 minutes and 41 seconds, just outside her personal best time.

Weir held off Australian Kurt Fearnley to win in a time of 1:30.51, just over a minute outside his course record.

It was revenge for 27-year-old Weir, who was beaten in second by Fearnley in last month's Los Angeles Marathon.

The pair battled it out for the entire 26.2 miles, breaking away early from the rest of the field and by the halfway point they led by almost a minute and a half.

But the Briton used his sprinting prowess to great effect over the final 600m to edge ahead and claim a famous victory over Fearnley, who had been chasing his seventh consecutive marathon win.

Former winner Saul Mendoza edged out Ernst van Dyk for third place with Brian Alldis finishing next of the Britons in sixth place in 1:44.31.

"The last six miles were a bit tactical and I always knew it would come down to a sprint finish," Weir told BBC Sport afterwards.


"I just love the course because it twists and turns and I like changing my speed up and down and a lot of the other racers don't like it.

"I was three minutes behind Kurt in LA and I should have been challenging then but I got a new chair and started training harder for London and it has paid off."

Fearnley added: "That was possibly one of the toughest races I've ever done. You can talk about the rivalry between England and Australia but you won't get a better race between two guys battling it out.

"Full credit to Dave, he just kept attacking and he fully deserved to win."

I've dreamed of winning this race for a long time

Shelly Woods

Blackpool athlete Woods finally tasted London Marathon glory after finishing runner-up to Italy's Francesca Porcellato for the past two years.

She broke away from Porcellato early on to finish nine minutes clear of her rival.

"I didn't want it to come down to a sprint finish so I pushed hard from the start and I was aiming for the course record," she said.

"Even when I was out there alone I thought Francesca would still be challenging me but I didn't realise how far ahead I was.

"I've dreamed of winning this race for a long time."

BBC Television presenter and former Paralympic wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan, making his Marathon debut, finished in a creditable 2:31.55.

Men's results:
1. David Weir (GB) 1:30.49
2. Kurt Fearnley (Aus) 1:30.50
3. Saul Mendoza (Mex) 1:33.47
4. Ernst van Dyk (SA) 1:33.47
5. Choke Yasuoka (Jpn) 1:33.51
6. Brian Alldis (GB) 1:44.31
7. Mark Telford (GB) 1:54.18
8. Andrew Cheek (GB) 1:58.14
9. Paul Rea (GB) 2:05.07
10. Wayne Phillips (Can) 2:15.49

Women's results:
1. Shelly Woods (GB) 1:50.40
2. Francesca Porcellato (Ita) 1:59.46
3. Sarah Piercey (GB) 2:41.18

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