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Marcel Hug and Madison de Rozario Win N.Y.C. Marathon Wheelchair Races

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Marcel Hug of Switzerland, referred to as the Silver Bullet, continued his stellar 12 months by profitable the New York City Marathon males’s wheelchair race on Sunday for the fourth time. Madison de Rozario of Australia received her first ladies’s wheelchair title.

Hug led from the beginning, ending in 1 hour 31 minutes 24 seconds, the capstone of an outstanding 2021. He received 4 gold medals on the Tokyo Paralympic Games this summer time, together with his second consecutive gold within the marathon. After Tokyo, he received the Berlin, London and Boston marathons and completed in second place within the Chicago Marathon simply behind considered one of his greatest rivals, Daniel Romanchuk of the United States.

Hug, who’s utilizing a brand new, high-tech chair, misplaced to Romanchuk by one second in New York City in 2019, after profitable in 2017. He held off Kurt Fearnley of Australia, the course record-holder, by six-hundredths of a second in 2016. In 2013, Hug beat Ernst van Dyk by five-tenths of a second.

Hug, 35, confronted no such drama on Sunday. He held a three-minute lead over David Weir of Britain after 20 kilometers, or 12.4 miles, and handed the midway level at 43 minutes 52 seconds, and was on a tempo to smash his personal course greatest by practically two minutes. His lead ballooned to greater than three minutes as he sped up First Avenue. That lead grew to greater than six minutes by the end.

“It’s really crazy” to win, Hug said after the race. “It’s been such a tough fall with the Paralympics and then all these marathons.”

Hug stated with so many races so shut collectively, he centered on restoration reasonably than coaching throughout the previous few months.

Weir completed second at 1:38:01, whereas Romanchuk got here in third at 1:38:22.

“It’s incredible to have this big gap I never expected,” Hug stated. “I expected to have a group together. Maybe two or three. But I had the chance to break away early.”

Hug, who is named the Silver Bullet due to his velocity and silver helmet, received 4 consecutive Boston Marathons by means of 2018, and has received every of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors. He owns the quickest all-conditions marathon document, which he set in Boston in 2017.

After trailing Romanchuk within the standings for a lot of the season, Hug secured his third World Marathon Majors title on Sunday.

“It was interesting to have this big showdown in New York” with Romanchuk, Hug stated.

De Rozario, the primary Australian champion within the 20-year historical past of the ladies’s wheelchair division in New York City, turned a race that was tight early right into a one-woman present in Manhattan and the Bronx. She completed in 1:51:01.

Unlike the lads’s wheelchair race, the ladies’s division was a dogfight amongst Manuela Schar, 36, the defending champion from Switzerland; Tatyana McFadden, 32, a five-time New York City champion; and de Rozario, 27.

It was de Rozario’s third time racing within the New York City Marathon. Her solely different marathon main title was in 2018 in London.

On Sunday, McFadden poked forward of de Rozario and Schar by about 5 seconds across the midway level. McFadden pushed up the Queensboro Bridge, which connects Queens and Manhattan, with de Rozario just a few seconds behind. Schar fell a lot farther again.

But after McFadden hit the height of the bridge and started to glide down the opposite aspect, de Rozario sped previous her. De Rozario then pulled forward for good on First Avenue and continued to construct her lead. She completed three minutes forward of McFadden (1:53:59) and Schar (1:54:02).

Being chased by McFadden and Schar “is one of the most terrifying things in the marathon, so I definitely wanted to avoid” being caught, de Rozario stated after the race. “So when that gap opened up, yeah, I just kind of tried to do everything I could to hold it.”

De Rozario received the gold medal within the marathon at this 12 months’s Tokyo Paralympic Games, edging Schar by one second. She additionally received gold within the 800 meters in a Paralympic document time, and bronze within the 1,500 meters.

She meant to race in different worldwide marathons this fall, however due to border restrictions in Australia, she was involved about her potential to return dwelling. But the restrictions have been lifted at first of this month, enabling de Rozario to make it to New York in time to race.

The silver lining of staying dwelling, she stated, was that she was extra rested than her rivals.

“I think it definitely played into it,” she stated.

Unlike in Tokyo, the place she held off a number of challengers in what she referred to as a “panic sprint to the finish,” de Rozario raced in entrance for the second half of the race on Sunday, which was a brand new feeling.

“I’ve never won a marathon like that before, and I didn’t know how stressful it means to be out front like that because you really don’t know how close the next athlete is,” she stated.

Hug and de Rozario will every obtain $25,000 for ending first, whereas Weir and McFadden received $20,000 for his or her second-place finishes. Romanchuk and Schar received $15,000 every.