Paralympic dream looms for Weir
ASHLEY Weir’s Paralympic dreams are one step closer to reality after he achieved three medals and one fourth placing in the 2010 Athletics Australia National AWD (Athletes With a Disability) Underage Championships in Canberra last week.
Competing against older athletes in the Tf20 classification, the Bundaberg 16-year-old narrowly missed gold when a gallant
second in the Under-18 men’s discus ambulant with a huge throw of 27.99m. He also claimed bronze in both the shot put with a distance of 10.25m and 800m where he crossed the line in 2:29.86 behind Victorians Matthew Silcocks and Drew Semmens.
Weir was also the first Queenslander home in the 400m, recording a time of 59.12sec and winding up fourth behind Silcocks, Tim Foster (NSW) and Joshua Seamon (South Australia).
A member of the Bundaberg Little Athletics Centre and Thabeban Athletics Club who has just completed year 11 at Bundaberg State High School, he has won numerous medals at Australian and Queensland Championships over the years.
But his mother Kerry said it was the first time he had competed in the National Capital and he is “real excited” about his performances. In the past, Weir also excelled in boxing, including winning a couple of state titles, but Kerry said he does not compete in that sport any more but he continues to do boxing training for general fitness.
Weir continued his outstanding form at the Central Coast Region Pentathlon in Gayndah at the weekend, winning the under-17 boys’ division against able-bodied athletes with an impressive haul of 1461 points.
On the way to the title, he set club records of 17.87sec in the 100m hurdles and 12.13m in shot put.
He also clocked a swift 12.72sec for 100m and 2:54.20 in 800m, and leapt 4.46m in long jump.
Weir has no more major athletics championships coming up in soon, but Kerry said he had caught the eye of the Paralympics coach in shot put and it could open the door to even higher honours.
“The coach has spoken to Ashley and we are waiting to hear back from Canberra, hoping and waiting, and Ashley would love to make the Paralympics squad,” Kerry said.
“But he does not turn 17 until March, and he has got a year of school to go, and he will just keep training hard and hopefully he will make it to the Paralympics one day – that is his goal.”