You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Fearnley loses final Para gold by a second

AAP logoAAP 18/09/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

A double espresso, a litre of sports drink, and a banana.

Kurt Fearnley's medal-winning pre-race formula has paid off again at the Rio Paralympics, but it wasn't the colour medal he wanted.

The five-time Australian Paralympian missed out on gold at his final Games wheelchair marathon by a single second.

A five-metre gap separated Fearnley and his fairytale finish in the men's T54 class at Copacabana beach on Sunday (Monday AEST).

The veteran was neck and neck with Marcel Hug until the final 20m when the Swiss broke Fearney to storm home.

"With 200m to go everything I had kind of stopped," Fearnley said.

It was the 35-year-old's fourth straight medal at a Paralympic marathon, which he chalks up to hard work and his quirky pre-competition routine.

"That's worked with me, with the lucky jocks for 16 years. Hopefully I'll be racing for another 60," he said.

"I'll race marathons for as long as my body can."

Fearnley says he'll contest the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and aims to extend his reign on the major international marathon circuit.

Six athletes didn't finish the grueling 42.6km course in Rio's sizzling conditions, including six-time Paralympic champion David Weir of Great Britain, who dropped out early after a clash of chairs damaged his.

Fearnley, who's crawled the 96km Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea and sailed in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, agreed it was a brutal race, but said that's where he thrives.

"One of my biggest strengths is that I deal with discomfort better than most," he said.

Having his family cheer him on helped, with Fearnley's wife Sheridan bringing their two-year-old son Harry to watch for the first time.

"It's a day that he may never remember but it's a day I won't forget," he said.

It wasn't the way he wanted to bow out of the Paralympics, but the Novocastrian was content with how far he's come and how the movement's progressed.

"I think I ran about 32nd in my (first) Paralympic marathon back in Sydney. And I'm grateful for that start," he said.

"That start is the thing that has given me the next 16 years to build on. I'm as proud of that day as I'm today."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon