Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Wheelchair Racer Cassidy Gunning for Another Boston Title, World Record

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Wheelchair Racer Cassidy Gunning for Another Boston Title, World Record

Article excerpt

Canadian Cassidy gunning for 2nd Boston title

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Josh Cassidy doesn't care who won last year's Boston Marathon or exactly how fast the winning time was.

The thing is, it was Cassidy who wheeled to victory in the storied race last year, and that world-record winning time is his.

The Canadian wheelchair racer will be gunning for his second consecutive Boston Marathon victory on Monday, but he'd rather not talk about last year. "Defending," according to Cassidy, is a bad word.

"Defending my title is going to be what everyone's asking about, and I think when you're on the defensive there's a lot more pressure," Cassidy said. "I'm actually looking at it as more of an attack. Rather than defending my title, I want to attack that course and I want to win it and I want to break the record, and I don't care who won it last year.

"I'm saying that it doesn't matter. I'm putting away the pressure of last year and having to live up to expectations."

The 28-year-old from Oakville, Ont., beat the intense Boston heat last year to win the 42.195-kilometre race in one hour 18 minutes 25 seconds -- the fastest wheelchair marathon ever, and a full 12 minutes faster than the winning time at the London Paralympics four months later.

The victory sent Cassidy to the London Games with lofty expectations. But if Boston was the high point of his season, the Olympics were the low point. Cassidy was fifth in the Olympic 800 metres, 10th in the 1,500 and 12th in the marathon at the Games.

"London was extremely frustrating for me," said Cassidy, who was taking antibiotics during the Games to treat an illness.

"I was just so pumped on antibiotics that it just depleted everything, and to perform at that kind of level you need you need all the energy and you need to be completely healthy, and that was the one week out of four years where I wasn't.

"It was very tough emotionally, mentally. . . All the support, all the hard work I put in every single day for four years, and then for it to turn like that was difficult. …

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