De Rozario wins late London Marathon dash, Hug triumphs again

Women's race sees third different winner in three races of the Abbott World Marathon Majors while Swiss start picks second victory in less than a week 24 Apr 2023
A female wheelchair racer crossing the finish line ahead of another racer in a street marathon
Madison de Rozario finished the 2023 London Marathon one second ahead of Switzerland's Manuela Schaer
ⒸAlex Davidson/Getty Images
By Abbott World Marathon Majors

Australia’s Madison de Rozario snatched a thrilling sprint finish to become the 2023 TCS London Marathon champion in the women’s wheelchair race. Switzerland’s Marcel Hug followed his Boston Marathon triumph with another victory in the men’s race in the British capital.

De Rozario is the third different winner in three races in series XV of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, teeing up an enthralling fall season when the women’s title will be decided.

The Australian edged out Manuela Schaer to claim her first London win since 2018 and her first Major since New York City in 2021.

The whole race saw the Paralympic champion locked in a four-way battle with  Schaer, Susannah Scaroni, who won Boston last Monday, and last year’s London champion Catherine Debrunner.

The quartet shared the burden of pushing on the front, with Schaer’s attempted break past half way proving unsuccessful, as she settled back into the group.

As they rounded the final bend with the finish on The Mall coming into view, it was De Rozario who played her hand, holding off the Swiss as they battle to the line on a cool, wet morning in the UK capital.

“I do like a warmer race,” the Australian said afterwards. “Coming off Boston where the conditions were tough, the rain here wasn’t too bad and the wind was at a minimum.

“These are three of the strongest women I’ve ever pushed with. It was hard to read who was struggling or who was strong.

“You go through lists of their strengths and flaws and it’s a long list of strengths and a short list of flaws, so to come to the last kilometre together was unreal.”

Dominant Hug

The series now pauses until the Berlin Marathon in September and, while the women’s competition is finely balanced, the same cannot be said of the men’s series.

Marcel Hug won by over five minutes to continue his dominance of the sport. It was his third straight London win, which equals David Weir’s streak in the event, and his third win of the series. The Swiss also lowered his own course record, clocking 1:23:44.

“It feels great and I am enjoying every moment of racing,” said Hug. “Everything is going so well. To win in London means so much to me. It’s such a great atmosphere, with so many spectators on the course. They give so much energy.”

Having broken away after the 10km mark, the challenge for the 37-year-old was to maintain his concentration on the wet roads of the early morning.

“I didn’t get any information [about how far ahead he was], I just looked back and didn’t see anyone behind, so I just tried to focus on myself and my performance and just went as fast as possible.”

Top 3 London Marathon Women’s Wheelchair Race
1 – Madison de Rozario (Australia) - 01:38:51
2 – Manuela Schaer (Switzerland) - 01:38:52
3 – Catherine Debrunner (Switzerland) - 01:38:54

Top 3 London Marathon Men’s Wheelchair Race
1 – Marcel Hug (Switzerland) – 01:23:44
2 – Jetze Plat (Netherlands) – 01:28:44
3 – Tomoki Suzuki (Japan) – 01:30:00