The USA’s Tatyana McFadden and Switzerland’s Marcel Hug will start as favourites to win Sunday’s (26 April) IPC Athletics Marathon World Championships after victory in the Boston Marathon on Monday (20 April).
For McFadden, Monday’s feat was her third straight victory on the US course. The 25-year-old won the women’s wheelchair division in 1:52:54, launching her campaign to complete her third straight marathon grand slam, with Chicago, New York and London on the horizon.
“It is always great to come back to Boston," McFadden said. "This race is not about me, it is about the community and the marathon family.”
In 2013 she became the first athlete to claim all four titles in a calendar year and repeated it in 2014.
McFadden was about a minute ahead of second-place finisher Wakako Tsuchida of Japan (1:53:48). Her US teammates, Susannah Scaroni and Amanda McGrory, finished with the identical time of 1:57:21 to place third and fourth, respectively.
On the men’s wheelchair side, Hug finally topped the podium after consecutive fourth-place finishes.
The “Swiss silver bullet” eventually broke away from South Africa’s defending champion and 10-time winner Ernst Van Dyk to take his first Boston Marathon win with a time of 1:29:53.
“It is fantastic, it is a historic race and big. It means a lot me.” Marcel said.
A matter of nanoseconds separated the following three finishers. Van Dyk took second in 1:36:27, and Japan’s Masazumi Soejima and Kota Hokinoue came in at 1:36:28 and 1:36:29, respectively.
This year the Boston Athletics Association, the organizer of the Boston Marathon, implemented a non-controlled start for the push rim wheelchair division in order to improve its race management and set a safe race environment for the athletes.
“I don't think it changed the outcome of the races. I think we proved as athletes that the time was right to do this,” Van Dyk said.
Soejima added: “I have experienced Boston with a controlled start and I was looking forward an uncontrolled start for years to come. I am happy with the result (Monday).”
This year, the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday plays host to the IPC Athletics World Marathon Championships.
Hug will look to defend his world title and London crown after denying Britain’s Paralympic champion David Weir by just one second last year. The 29-year-old will also see familiar faces from Boston, with Van Dyk, Soejima and Hokinoue, as well as Weir among the 97 entrants in the men’s wheelchair T53/54 and T51/52 start list.
Last year, McFadden broke her the course record for the second successive year as she crossed the line in 1:45:12 to win by more than a minute and a half from Switzerland’s 2013 world champion Manuela Schär.
Schär will also join Tsuchida, Scaroni and McGrory to compete in the women’s wheelchair T53/54 field on Sunday in London.