David Weir overcame bitter memories of the Rio Paralympics after he won the London Marathon a record seventh time.

The Wallington hero smashed Tanni Grey-Thompson’s record of six wins when he beat Swiss competitor Marcel Hug to the gold medal on Sunday, April 23.

Read more: David Weir in seventh heaven after latest London Marathon victory

But the wheelchair athlete admitted he had suffered from depression in the months following lackluster performances at the Paralympic Games in 2016.

Speaking to the BBC he said: “It’s been challenging since Rio to get mentally focused and ready for this race. To be honest two or three months ago I didn’t think I would even get on the starting line because I have been struggling with a little bit of depression to be honest.

“So, to get here and to race, to win and to beat Tanni’s record is an honour. The last few years I’ve been thinking ‘maybe I’m too old now, maybe I’m past it’ so it was just nice to outsprint the fastest man in the world.

“It’s my seventh win, it’s my 18th year in a row and it’s one of my best victories ever because of the stuff that has been going on in my mind and my career.”

In January the 37-year-old alleged a British Athletics coach had accused him of throwing a race, which resulted in Britain failing to qualify for the 4x400m T53/54 final.

Mr Weir also did not complete the marathon in Rio and later vowed to never represent Team GB again after he suggested trainer Jenni Banks said that he had ‘let down his country’.

Read more: David Weir felt belittled after coach row which prompted retirement

Read more: Paralympic wheelchair athlete David Weir says he will 'never wear a team GB shirt again'

During a press conference he said: “I felt there was a weight lifted off my shoulders.

"The last four months have been hell for me, mentally and stuff. It's been a challenge to even get out and train. But all the people I've had helping me have been amazing like my coach, my mum and my kids.

"I thought I'd struggle to get on the startline a few months ago. But winning the Paris marathon did me the world of good, to be honest.”

If you are suffering from depression you can call Samaritans on 1166 123.

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