Marcel Hug18 January 1986 Nottwil, Switzerland
- LATEST TRIUMPHS:
- London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships – gold: 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m T54
- Rio 2016 - gold: 800m T54 and marathon T54; silver: 1,500m T54 and 5,000m T54
- 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships Doha - silver: 5,000m T54; sronze: 800m T54
- 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships - gold: Marathon, 10,000m, 5,000m, 1,500m, 400m; silver: 800m T54
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- Men's 5000m T54 - 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships
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Hug is the latest Swiss wheelchair racing talent following in the tracks of all-time greats Franz Nietlispach and Heinz Frei.
The ‘Swiss Silver Bullet’ has been in terrific form in the last two seasons: he won his first Paralympic gold at the Rio Games (he went on to win a second); he raced away with the Abbott World Marathon Majors title for 2016/2017 and he secured three world gold medals at London 2017 where he dominated the men’s T54 distance events.
Hug’s victories in the 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m T54 in the London Stadium rounded off a highly successful 2017 track season that also included a new 10,000m T54 world record (19:45.05) in Arbon, Switzerland in May.
Out on the roads, the Swiss racer has also been a force to be reckoned with.
In 2016 he won no fewer than six major marathons including the Paralympic title at Rio 2016, while in 2017 he won in Boston (USA), Berlin (Germany), Chicago (USA) and New York (USA).
Two years later he struck 10,000m T54 gold at the World Championships in the Netherlands, adding 400m, 800m and 5,000m silver to his tally.
By his own admission Beijing 2008 was a disappointing experience. His best finish was fourth place in the 5,000m. But Hug bounced back in emphatic style in 2010 smashing four world records in four days at a meeting in Nottwil, Switzerland, that summer.
He was the man to beat going into the 2011 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 Great Britain’s David 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 T54 to take gold ahead of Hug, who only managed one gold - in the 10,000m, a race that did not feature his great rival.
Hug found himself losing out on gold at the London 2012 Games too, where Weir dominated the field winning four gold medals. The Swiss racer clinched 800m and marathon silvers.
Victory in the 400m, 1,500m, 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon T54 at the 2013 World Championships – in the absence of Weir - meant Hug quickly became the man to beat, and he cemented that position with further glory at the 2014 European Championships in Swansea, Great Britain, winning a hat trick of gold medals.
Competition at the 2015 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, was tough however and Hug found himself outraced by the likes of Thailand’s Rawat Tana, who took world gold in the 1,500m and 5,000m. Hug had to make do with one bronze (800m T54) and one silver medal (5,000m T54).
Earlier in the year he had been forced to withdraw from the defence of his world marathon title after suffering a puncture during the London Marathon – world gold in 2015 was not to be.
In Rio, Hug did not get off to the best start. Silver medal finishes in the 1,500m and 5,000m made it look as if Paralympic gold would elude him again.
By the time he lined up in the 800m final it was his 19th attempt at wining Paralympic gold. He left nothing to chance, leading the field throughout, and as he crossed the line in first he showed a rare emotional side as he punched the air and screamed in delight. He clinched his second Paralympic title on the final day of competition winning marathon T54 gold.
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