CHICAGO (Reuters) – The participation of 27 Paralympians and an enormous improve in prize cash might make Sunday’s Chicago Marathon wheelchair race essentially the most aggressive but.
“Having 27 Paralympians is large,” four-times Paralympian Tatyana McFadden, one of many favorites, informed reporters on the eve of the race. “I feel it brings it to a complete different degree.”
The overall prize cash for the lads’s and ladies’s para-athletic discipline has been elevated to $134,500 from $98,500 final 12 months and the marathon will function the US Paralympic Crew Trials for the second time.
The marathon advantages from its proximity to the College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the place a number of the world’s premier wheelchair athletes, together with McFadden, have skilled.
The American will likely be up in opposition to returning champion Manuela Schar of Switzerland, who has loved a dream stretch of outcomes, successful in New York, Tokyo, Boston and London.
American Dan Romanchuk, who gained right here final 12 months on the age of 20 and have become the youngest athlete to win the New York Marathon a month later, is among the many favorites on the lads’s facet.
With one other 12 months’s expertise in competitors, Romanchuk mentioned he had improved his racing technique.
“I do know my limits greater than I did,” mentioned Romanchuk. “I feel coaching has been going properly. I don’t wish to make any assumptions about any race. We’ll see.”
Chicago race director Carey Pinkowski mentioned he was impressed by Romanchuk’s bodily prowess and energy.
“If you happen to take heed to the fellows at College of Illinois about what he does in coaching, how intense he’s -– he’s a younger man however he’s simply robust, he’s come storming on,” Pinkowski mentioned. “I feel he’s going to be the man for a very long time.”
Reporting By Amy Tennery; enhancing by Clare Fallon