Madison de Rozario made history on Sunday when she became the first Australian woman to win Paralympic marathon gold in Tokyo.
The 27-year-old held off the challenge of reigning AbbottWMM women’s wheelchair series champion Manuela Schär in a pulsating race that was lead by the USA’s Susannah Scaroni by over a minute before she was reeled in.
De Rozario made it to the line in 1:38:11, just one second ahead of Schär, with the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon champion Nikita den Boer claiming bronze.
The win also hands de Rozario 25 points in AbbottWMM Series XIII to move her into striking distance of the top three as we head into a busy period, cramming in six Majors in six weeks.
Schär’s second place sees her strengthen her lead in first place with 16 more points moving her on to 98, while den Boer’s bronze adds nine points to her series total to overtake Tatyana McFadden in second place.
McFadden, who reached a total of 20 Paralympic medals during the Games, finished in fifth in the marathon behind Wakako Tsuchida to earn a solitary point for the series.
Marcel Hug completed a sensational Games with men’s T54 marathon victory – his fourth gold medal in Tokyo following 800, 1,500 and 5,000m success on the track.
The Swiss beat China’s Zhang Yong by 20 seconds, with AbbottWMM series leader Daniel Romanchuk five minutes back for bronze.
It’s Hug’s second straight Paralympic marathon victory, and it moves him into second place behind Romanchuk in the series.
With the Majors season kicking off in Berlin at the end of September, the picture in both the men’s and women’s wheelchair series’ could change dramatically as these athletes criss-cross the globe in the hunt for points.
During a Paralympic year, a racer’s best five scores are used for their points total.
There are an additional eight points available at each Major for the winner of the bonus contest within each race. This can come in the form of the first athlete across a certain point on the course, or a sprint from point to point somewhere along the route.