KURT Fearnley could not hide his disappointment yesterday when success in a men’s T54 1500 metres Paralympic final once more eluded him, but that disappointment will now act as a very big motivator.
Carcoar product Fearnley headed to this year’s London Paralympic Games with a program of four events - the 5000 metres, 1500m, 800m and the marathon - but made no secret the latter was his main focus.
He had still hoped for medals in the other events, and with two down has a 5000m silver to his credit, but it is the hunt for marathon gold which drives Fearnley.
It is also the eagerness for that hunt which he used yesterday to try and get his mind off a disappointing seventh place in the 1500m final.
“We came here with the focus on the marathon and seventh is upsetting, but I guess I start with the 800 and see if I can make it through the heats, but at the end of the day I have just got to keep my eye on Sunday and turn it up at 11 o’clock and try and get the [gold] medal on The Mall,” Fearnley said.
“That marathon, it has always been about that I guess and that three straight is the thing that I have been wanting for a long time.”
Whereas Fearnley arrived in London as the two-times defending champion of the marathon after claiming gold in both Athens and Beijing, his record in the 1500m was not as strong.
He was fourth in this event at the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games, fourth again in Athens while at the 2008 Beijing Games Fearnley managed to snare bronze despite almost falling out of his chair in the final.
This year Fearnley posted a comfortable win in his heat, but in yesterday’s final he never got in a position to challenge for a podium finish and finished behind the leaders.
Britain’s David Weir clocked a time of three minutes, 12.09 seconds to win. Fearnley’s time was 3:13.23.
“It’s not the worst thing that has ever happened to me and we start again tomorrow, he said.
Fearnley got his chance to bounce back and qualify for another final last night as he contested a heat of the 800m.
He won silver in this event at Beijing, but faced a tough ask to qualify with Weir and Hug to race alongside him.