High-class wheelchair fields announced for the Virgin Money London Marathon as the top names prepare to embark on a busy autumn of racing
The world’s top wheelchair racers have confirmed they will race at this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon, with 2020 champions Brent Lakatos and Nikita den Boer returning to the defend their titles on the streets of the British capital on October 3.
Lakatos, who enjoyed a surprise victory in the elite-only men’s race race last Autumn, will be up against a strong field which includes Britain’s David Weir, the most decorated athlete in London Marathon history, who is making his 22nd consecutive appearance at the event. The eight-time winner narrowly finished second last year on the looped course around St James’s Park and will be looking to go one better as the race returns to the course which stretches from Blackheath to The Mall.
“I’m really looking forward to racing on the traditional route again and the other guys are too,” said Weir, who is preparing to compete at the Tokyo Paralympics. “I’m speaking not just for me but for everyone when I say I’ve missed it. The buzz of racing on the streets around the world is incredible and we can’t wait to get back to some sort of normality and get back to racing.”
The men’s field will also feature America’s 2019 London winner Daniel Romanchuk, plus Switzerland’s two-time champion Marcel Hug.
Another Swiss athlete, Manuela Schär, will be aiming to taste victory once again in the women’s race after the two-time winner and course record-holder had to settle for second behind den Boer last year. Tatyana McFadden, who produced a London winning streak from from 2013 to 2016, and 2018 champion Madison de Rozario, will also compete.
“Winning last year’s race was a fantastic experience,” said den Boer. “Not only did I win, but I broke the 30-year-old Dutch record by 10 minutes. I never expected to be so fast. Now I am looking forward to returning and racing on the traditional course.”
London will be the second race in this year’s Abbott World Marathon Majors Series, with the finale taking place over a six-week period, starting with the BMW Berlin Marathon on September 26 and taking in London, Chicago, Boston, Tokyo and New York. The Paralympic marathon on September 5 will also be part of the Series XIII rankings. Romanchuk and Schar currently lead the way.