Great Britain’s hopes of medal success in the marathon events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games received a double boost on Sunday (22 April) when Brits David Weir and Shelly Woods won the London Marathon.
For 32-year-old Weir it was his sixth London Marathon success, equaling the record of retired British wheelchair racer Baroness Tanni-Grey Thompson.
In an exceptionally close race featuring a strong field, Weir and his Swiss rival Marcel Hug led the field for most of the race. It was Weir, however, who put in the strongest sprint finish to win the race in 1:32:26. Hug, the world record holder at all track distances from 800m through to 10,000m took second in 1:32:27. Third place went to American Krige Schabort (1:32:28) whilst Canadian Josh Cassidy, winner of the recent Boston Marathon, finished ninth (1:33:54).
Whereas seven seconds separated the top seven finishers in the men’s race, the women’s was not as close with Shelly Woods leading the field home by nearly four minutes (1:49:10).
It was Woods’ first London marathon win since 2007 and saw her finish ahead of Japan's world champion Wakako Tsuchida (1:53:04) and Canada’s Diane Roy (1:53:05) who took second and third places respectively.
The marathon events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games will take place on Sunday 9 September.