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Elite women’s wheelchair race preview

Rivals Den Boer and Schär return to go head-to-head

The defending champion Nikita den Boer (NED) will resume her battle with last year’s runner-up Manuela Schär (SUI) on the streets of London.

Den Boer stunned world record holder Schär to win in the rain during the elite-only races around St James’s Park last year.

Schär turned the tables and got the better of Den Boer in a thrilling Tokyo Paralympic Marathon, but had to settle for a silver behind 2018 London Marathon champion Madison de Rozario (AUS) with Den Boer winning the bronze medal.

It had been hoped that all three women would resume their rivalry at the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon, but De Rozario has been unable to travel due to the pandemic.

There are two other women in the field with London Marathon victories on their CVs: Tatyana McFadden (USA), who won the event four times in a row between 2013 and 2016, and Shelly Woods (GBR), who has two victories to her name (2007 and 2012).

The youngest woman in the field will be 17-year-old Merle Menje, who just missed out on winning a Paralympic medal as a teenager when she finished fourth in the 800m in Tokyo.

Merle made her marathon debut at the BMW Berlin Marathon on Saturday 26 September and is a former Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon winner.