Marcel Hug to defend New York title

Swiss wheelchair athlete one of 11 Paralympians taking part in November marathon 31 Aug 2017
a male wheelchair athlete celebrates his win

Marcel Hug will defend his New York Marathon title in November

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"Year after year, the TCS New York City Marathon draws the top wheelchair athletes in the world, so it promises to be a battle to the finish once again.”

Defending champion Marcel Hug will take to the streets of New York in November bidding for a third marathon win in the US city.

Race organisers have announced that the 31-year-old will be part of a world-class field including 11 Paralympians.

In New York last November, Hug held off Australia’s Kurt Fearnley in a sprint finish to take the win in 1:35:49 – with the Swiss Silver Bullet winning by a mere six hundredths of a second. It was Hug’s second victory in the city, having also won in 2013.

“I'm excited to be coming back to New York City in search of my third title,” said Hug. “Last year was such a thrilling sprint to the finish. Year after year, the TCS New York City Marathon draws the top wheelchair athletes in the world, so it promises to be a battle to the finish once again.”

Hug, who won three gold medals at this summer’s World Para Athletics Championships in London, will likely have to watch out for five-time winner Fearnley and US racer Josh George, who finished second and third in New York in 2016.

Hug dominated marathon racing last year, winning all six major marathons, including the Paralympic title in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, before going on to be crowned the first-ever Abbott World Marathon Majors Wheelchair Series champion in Boston, USA in April this year.

Star-studded line up

The 2017/2018 Series XI takes in six major marathons around the world – London (Great Britain), Berlin (Germany), Chicago (USA), New York (USA), Tokyo (Japan) and Boston (USA), with points earned by the top five finishers each time.

Great Britain’s David Weir won the opening race of Series XI in London and sits top of the table with 25 points, with Hug second on 16 points. Before New York, the Berlin marathon takes place on 24 September and the Chicago marathon on 8 October.

Five-time winner Tatyana McFadden has already been confirmed as part of the star-studded line-up in the women’s field in New York.

The 28-year-old defending champion topped the leaderboard in the women’s wheelchair division of the Abbott Series last year, winning in Boston, London, Chicago and New York.

Like Hug, McFadden also enjoyed great success at July’s World Championships, clinching a phenomenal four gold medals despite suffering blood clots in her legs and undergoing operations earlier in the year. McFadden did not compete at the London marathon in April, which was won by Switzerland’s Manuela Schär, the women’s current WMM Series leader.

A sixth victory in New York on Sunday 5 November would mean McFadden surpasses Edith Wolf-Hunkeler and Kurt Fearnley for the most career wins by a male or female in the wheelchair division.

The wheelchair division prize money in New York increases by 25 per cent this year to become the largest wheelchair prize purse of any marathon in the world. First-place finishers will now receive USD 20,000 (EUR 16,850), with second place receiving USD 15,000 (EUR 12,630), third place receiving USD 12,000 (EUR 10,110), fourth place receiving USD 8,000 (EUR 6,740), fifth place receiving USD 5,000 (EUR 4,210) and sixth place receiving USD 2,500 (EUR 2,100).