A WORLD record holder’s chance of a competitive time at the London Marathon hangs in the balance after his wheelchair was damaged.
Anthony Gotts, needed to replace two carbon fibre wheels, which cost £1,600, before the big race on Sunday.
The 33-year-old from Helmshore said the wheels were damaged by pot holes as he trained for the event on the streets of Rossendale.
A new pair were paid for by the 53 Foundation, a charity Mr Gotts raised thousands of pounds for last year.
Mr Gotts said he will be forced to use his damaged set in the race if the new ones do not arrive today.
He said: “It doesn’t feel quite right taking money from the charity but it’s the position I am in.
“The charity has done an amazing thing for me and I’m so thankful for their kindness.
“I hope the new wheels make it.
"I’ll be leaving for London tomorrow and I will have to use my damaged ones.
“I’ll have to use duct tape and patch the wheels up.”
Mr Gotts was an able-bodied athlete until he tore muscles and broke his pelvis in a freak long jumping accident.
Last year he broke the world record by completing 900 miles from Land’s End to John O’ Groats in 20 days in a manual push chair, finishing eight days earlier than expected.
The challenge was previously completed in 30 days by disabled campaigner Martyn Sibley, using an electric wheelchair.
Mr Gotts said: “If all goes well and the conditions are in my favour, I hope to complete the marathon in under two hours.
“If I used my damaged wheels the other athletes will hear my chair crunch as I turn corners and they’ll know I won’t be able to ride at my normal pace.”
Mr Gotts has been given an elite’s position on the start line.
The 26-mile race will start south of the River Thames and thousands of amateur and professional participants will take part.
The fastest men’s wheelchair racecourse record was set by Kurt Fearnley of Australia, setting a one hour, 28 minutes and 57 seconds time in 2009.
Dave Keighley, co-founder of the 53 Foundation, said: “We saw on Facebook he had damaged his wheels and we felt it was only right to lend a hand.
“Anthony has raised so much money for us and he’s been incredible.
“The charity is about helping disabled people get out and be active so this fits our aim perfectly.
“It’s a win-win for us because if we can get Anthony racing he is encouraging those who are disabled to be active.”