Marcel Hug smashes 22-year-old world record

Switzerland's Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion returns to Japan to make history in the traditional Oita Marathon 22 Nov 2021
A male wheelchair racer competing in an athletics track
After winning gold in the marathon at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Marcel Hug returned to Japan for another victory
Ⓒ Alex Davidson/Getty Images
By World Para Athletics

After 22 years there is a new world record in the men’s wheelchair race marathon T53/54. Switzerland’s Marcel Hug won the Oita Marathon on Sunday (21 November) in Japan in 1:17:47.

His time was more than two minutes faster than the mark set by his countryman Heinz Frei in the same race in 1999 (1:20:14).

Oita is one of the most traditional wheelchair racing marathons in the world and celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2021. 

“Incredible finish of an incredible racing season. Broke the 22-year-old world record in perfect conditions on a very fast course today. I am so thrilled and grateful to all who made this possible,” Hug posted on social media.  

It has been an incredible year for the Swiss Silver Bullet who also took the gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games marathon and who has since also triumphed London, Boston and New York.

Japan’s Tomoki Suzuki finished in second place lowering in more than 3 minutes his own Asian record in the T53/54 race (1:18:37).

Tsubasa Kina from Japan won the women’s T53/54 event in 1:40:13 ahead of USA’s Tatyana McFadden (1:44:01). 

Paralympic champion in the 400m, Tomoki Sato was another local athlete to triumph in the men’s T33/52 race (1:50:19).

* World and regional records still to be ratified by World Para Athletics.