Tokyo Paralympics 2021 - 'We are sick of being second best' - David Weir demands authorities do more for para-sport
Para-athletics is governed by the International Paralympic Committee, who in July openly suggested they are happy to relinquish control to those interested in taking it from them. Weir has challenged Seb Coe, president of World Athletics, to fight for para-athletics after Tokyo 2020 after repeatedly criticising a lack of funding, pay and investment in the sport.
TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 31: David Weir of Team Great Britain prepares to compete in the Men's 1500m - T54 Final on day 7 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 31, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
David Weir has challenged the authorities to do more for para-sport after the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The wheelchair racing veteran finished fifth in the marathon on the final day of competition in Japan.
Weir and fellow ParalympicsGB para-athletes Johnnie Peacock and Hannah Cockcroft repeatedly raised issues of unequal funding, pay and technological investment ahead of the Games, along with poor promotion.
“A lot of the public think we get the same money as Mo Farah and the top athletes," said Weir.
"I just want it for the next generation - we don’t get deals off Nike or the big companies. This is our income.
We are sick of being second best and we deserve more.
"That is what I’m going to fight for now, I am going to keep pushing and knocking on the door."
Weir, a six-time Paralympic champion, has seen rivals including Swiss superstar Marcel Hug - who took victory in the men's T54 marathon, 800 metres, 1500m and 5,000m - able to make rapid advancements in chair technology with better funding.
The 42-year-old missed out on a medal in Tokyo after similarly failing to podium in Rio de Janeiro five years ago.
He's challenged Seb Coe, president of World Athletics, to intervene to enable proper funding and promotion for para-athletes.
“UK Sport don’t talk to the athletes - they need to talk to us more and when we get back, they will listen," Weir continued.
“I want to see us in the Diamond League. I want Seb Coe to sit down with the top Paralympians because the IPC are not doing enough to promote us.
“The prize money isn’t equal but we are fighting, we are telling them. We do 26.2 miles, you wouldn’t pay different to men and women - so why not us?"