Marcel HugNottwil, Switzerland
- LATEST TRIUMPHS:
- 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships - Gold: Marathon, 10,000m, 5,000m, 1,500m, 400m; Silver: 800m T54
- London 2012 Paralympics - Silver: 800m T54 and marathon T54
- 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships - Gold: 10,000m; Silver: 400m, 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m T54
- Beijing 2008 Paralympics - 4th place: 5,000m T54; 5th place: 400m T54, 800m T54
- 2006 IPC Athletics World Championships - Gold: 10,000m; Silver: 400m, 800m and 5,000m T54
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- Switzerland’s Hug Knows What is at Stake
Hug came of age in 2013 winning five gold medals at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, capitalising on the absence of his British rival David Weir who now describes Hug as the man to beat in the T54 class.
The 'Swiss Silver Bullet' claimed world titles in the 400m, 1,500m, 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon, as well as silver in the 800m to crown a remarkable year.
He then followed this up in 2014 when, again in the absence of Weir, he won the 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m at the IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea, Great Britain.
Hug’s recent title wins are a far cry from 2012, when Hug and Weir went head-to-head in four stunning battles - 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m and marathon – at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
On home soil, the British athlete was unbeatable, taking gold in all events and leaving Hug to settle for two silver medals in the 800m and marathon.
Born on 16 June 1986 with spina bifida, Hug is the latest Swiss wheelchair racing talent following in the tracks of all-time greats Franz Nietlispach and Heinz Frei.
His first Paralympic Games were in Athens in 2004 when, aged just 18 years, he won two bronze medals in the 800m (1:32.66), and 1,500m (3:05.48). He also made the finals of the 400m and 1,500m.
Two years later he struck 10,000m gold (23:06.71) at the IPC Athletics World Championships in the Netherlands and also took home silver in the 400m (48.97), 800m (1:39.10) and 5,000m (11:20.68).
By his own admission Beijing 2008 was a disappointing experience. His best finish was fourth place in the 5,000m. He finished in fifth in both the 400m and 800m races, and did not finish in the 1,500m or the marathon after crashing in the finals of both events.
He bounced back in emphatic style in 2010 smashing four world records in four days at a meeting in Notwill, Switzerland, in June. His times - 800m (1:31.12), 1,500m (2:54.51), 5,000m (9:53.05) and 10,000m (19:50.04) – still stand today.
Hug was the man to beat going into the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in New Zealand, an event which would see him compete in all track events from the 400m through to the 10,000m.
Unfortunately for Hug, he came up against Weir, a man spurred on by losing his world records the previous year.
Weir put on a tactical master class in the 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m to take gold ahead of Hug in silver medal position. Hug did win one gold medal after victory in the 10,000m (22:16.83), a race that did not feature Weir. He also took home a fourth silver in the 400m (48.16).
Now a six-time world champion, Hug has matured from his Paralympic Games experiences at the hands of Weir. No longer is it solely about speed for Hug but tactics too and it appears to be paying off.
After beating Weir to claim his first London Marathon title in April 2014, Hug will be hoping for he can beat Weir for the first time in a major event at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar,
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