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Marcel Hug at the Finish Line




Swiss duo Marcel Hug and Catherine Debrunner speed to victory

Swiss duo Marcel Hug and Catherine Debrunner sped to victory in an historic day for the TCS London Marathon wheelchair races. 

For the first time ever, prize money for the wheelchair event has been made the same as able-bodied athletes, meaning both Hug and Debrunner will pick up $55,000 (£44,000) for their victories. 

Catherine Debrunner at the Finish Line

Hug’s win was his fourth in succession in London, crossing the line in 1:28:35. But he was made to work hard for his latest triumph. 

“It was a tough race to be honest, in the toughest conditions,” said Hug. “I had to try everything to make a break.” The victory came just a week after Hug won the Boston Marathon and was achieved despite the 38-year-old not being fully fit. 

“I was injured after the race but in training,” said Hug. “I was feeling good but it was a little worse than I expected.” However, Hug was still able to stay ahead of the rest of the field. 

And he has welcomed the additional prize money coming his way. “This is incredible,” said Hug. “It's a great feeling for us and a real privilege. I'm now going to get some rest and relax and get ready to go again.” 

Daniel Romanchuk took second in a time of 1:29:06 and enjoyed the way the race unfolded. 

"It's actually a pretty nice day,” he said. “We stayed together in a small group. There were lots of tactics at play and it was an evaluation situation when deciding the next move.  

“It was a little different for such a group of four. It kept things interesting." 

Romanchuk was followed home by the legendary David Weir who was competing in his 25th consecutive TCS London Marathon. 

Weir finished in 1:29:58 and felt it was the most difficult race of his long and illustrious career.  

"It was the toughest race I've ever done, but better than I planned,” said the 44-year-old. 

"I got dropped at Cutty Sark when Marcel Hug broke as I didn't expect it. It was hard to pull back due to windy conditions. At Tower Bridge I wasn't sure I was going to make it back but I kept pushing.” 

The women’s race saw Debrunner claim her first TCS London Marathon win in dominant fashion. 

The 29-year-old led from early on and went on to triumph by more than six minutes. 

Debrunner finished in 1:38:54 and was delighted to win in windy conditions. “It was an amazing race,” she said. 

“It was extremely tough to win as most of the time I was in the headwind. At about 5K I found myself alone. I had planned to go out hard as it is my strength, and it worked.  

“But actually, we never know how far ahead we are, so I just try to keep a steady pace.” 

And Debrunner also feels the improved prize fund shows just how much the TCS London Marathon values the wheelchair races.  

“I feel very happy that London Marathon has made this big step,” she said. “It's clear they value us the same as the runners.” 

Fellow Swiss star Manuella Schar took second place in 1:45:00 and believes women’s wheelchair racing is the best it has ever been. 

“Debrunner set a really high pace,” said Schar. “I managed to stay with her but I had to slow down. “We raced together for a while the but last few K, she broke away. There was a headwind and it made it tough. 

“But wheelchair racing is amazing. The women's race is the most amazing it's ever been. I'm lucky to be part of this time, it's so exciting. 

“There's now clarity with elite men and women, which gives us the possibility to be professional athletes and grow the sport.” 

American Tatyana McFadden was third in 1:45:51 and was pleased with her performance on a special day. 

“What a great birthday present today for me,” said McFadden. “My goal was to be back on the podium. 

“I'm climbing back to my best as I feel I've been catching up for the last seven years.” 

Eden Rainbow-Cooper was the first Brit home, finishing sixth in 1:50:39.