The Swiss duo dominate the women’s and men’s wheelchair events as David Weir finishes third in the sprint
Manuela Schär and Marcel Hug each won their third London Marathon title with ease, setting course records in the British capital.
Schär, the 2017 and 2019 women’s champion, clocked a time of 1:39:52 to win by four minutes and 59 seconds, breaking her 2017 course record by five seconds.
In an intriguing battle for second place, European doubles Merle Menje beat 20-time Paralympic medalist and quadruple London Marathon champion Tatyana McFadden by a few thousandths of a second as the pair crossed the line in 1:44:51. Defending champion Nikita den Boer finished fourth with 1:44:54.
Schär’s dominance was such that she led by 38 seconds after 10 km before increasing the gap to 1:52 at the halfway point. The second half of the race became a procession.
The Swiss athlete, who won silver at the Paralympic marathon in September, said: “Oh my god it’s so amazing to be back on this course and I loved it so much. The crowds and the weather were perfect and I had a great day.
“I felt it was quick but I wasn’t sure if it was in the record and I’m so glad I got it.”
In the previous men’s race, Hug dominated and set a time of 1:26:27, after victories in the Paralympic and Berlin marathons to win London by three minutes.
400m Paralympic champion Daniel Romanchuk climbed to second place with 1:29:27 while David Weir, in a thrilling battle for last place on the podium, defeated last year’s champion Brent Lakatos – who beat the Briton by just two seconds on this occasion. – in a thrilling final sprint.
Hug and Romanchuk broke away from the peloton and were more than a minute ahead of the rest of the peloton at the halfway point. At 25km, however, Hug developed a 27-second lead and never looked back as he put on the taillights to pull away.
Weir, who is competing in his 22nd consecutive London Marathon, has won the title eight times, but stepping on the podium this year may have meant as much, judging by his reaction, with an emotional “Weirwolf” hitting the look of joy as he crossed the line.
Commonwealth silver medalist John Charles Smith was sixth and was more than nine seconds off the lead.
Hug, who won four gold medals at the Paralympic Games, said: “It’s very nice to be back here in London with this great atmosphere and it was just perfect to have this great competition.
“We have a lot more marathons and I’m going to the United States to compete in Chicago.”
Weir, who had said Hug’s “Ferrari” chair gave him an edge, was quite thoughtful after an impressive finish on The Mall.
“Having a little crowd to support you is great and it’s good to be back on the old course,” said the 42-year-old.
“Doing the loops last year was quite exhausting and repetitive, but today I was motivated because the crowd was cheering me on on the course which gave me a boost.
“This is my 22nd [London] marathon in a row and I don’t know how many I’m going to do now so it must be a record for me now to keep going.