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Page last updated at 03:42 GMT, Sunday, 14 September 2008 04:42 UK

Gold for Weir after appeal U-turn

By Elizabeth Hudson
BBC Sport in Beijing

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Weir claimed 800m gold glory

Britain's David Weir has had his T54 800m Paralympic gold medal reinstated after a protest over the lane order in the final was overturned.

The 29-year-old from Surrey had secured Team GB's first gold on the track after triumphing in Saturday's race.

Australia protested after claiming the lane draw for the final was wrong and a re-run was ordered before the decision was overturned.

"I am very happy and relieved," said Weir, who will get his medal on Sunday.

"I would like to thank everyone who has helped to overturn the decision to re-run the race. It has been a very difficult 12 hours but I now have the gold medal that I have worked so hard for and can focus on my remaining two events."

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Video - Weir decries lack of sportsmanship

Weir is back on track on Sunday in the heats of the 1500m with the semi-finals on Monday and the final on Tuesday while the marathon takes place on Wednesday.

Weir produced a fine performance at the Birds Nest stadium to storm home in a time of one minute 36.62 seconds, his first ever competitive victory in the event.

A jury of appeal at the Games ruled later that the race should be re-run on Tuesday 16 September.

Dave won the race fair and square and I'm happy that Kurt recognised that

Tanni Grey-Thompson

But the Australian team sent another letter to the jury of appeal, signed by head coach Scott Goodman and their athlete Kurt Fearnley, formally requesting that the re-run not be held and the result of the race to be left unaltered.

Phil Lane, Chef de Mission for ParalympicsGB, added: "We are delighted for Dave Weir and would like to join the Jury of Appeal in thanking the team staff of Australia, especially the athlete involved, Kurt Fearnley, for their support in helping to have the decision to re-run the race overturned.

"It was a superb performance by Dave Weir to win the gold medal and justice has been done."

Weir won silver in the 400m and bronze in the 5,000m earlier in the programme, and he was overjoyed at winning his first Paralympic gold medal.

Former Paralympic champion Tanni Grey Thompson said that she was delighted that Weir had been awarded his medal.

"David won the race fair and square and I'm happy that Kurt recognised that," she told BBC Sport.

"Morally and ethically it was the right thing to do."

The controversy in the track and field programme follows the women's T54 5,000m final which was forced to be re-run after six athletes were felled in the original race.

Britain's Shelly Woods finished second in the first race and then clinched bronze in the re-run.

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IPC athletics chairman Chris Cohen on the lengthy process that led to GB's David Weir having his gold reinstated



see also
Paralympics day eight photos
14 Sep 08 |  Paralympics
Jones and Simpson both win bronze
13 Sep 08 |  Paralympics
Weir disappoints again on track
11 Sep 08 |  Paralympics
Weir lays down marker in Beijing
08 Sep 08 |  Paralympics
Woods battles to bronze in re-run
12 Sep 08 |  Paralympics
Where will Paralympic medals be won?
04 Sep 08 |  Paralympics
Woods determined to secure medal
10 Sep 08 |  Paralympics
Woods forced to give back medal
08 Sep 08 |  Paralympics
Pistorius fails to make Olympics
18 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Pistorius eligible for Olympics
16 May 08 |  Athletics
A-Z of Paralympic classification
28 Aug 08 |  Paralympics
Paralympics on the BBC
25 Aug 08 |  Paralympics
GB Paralympic team for Beijing
24 Jul 08 |  Paralympics


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