Big finishes at the London Marathon for Romanchuk and Schar
By Brianna Tammaro / U. S. Paralympics
Daniel Romanchuk (Mount Airy, Maryland) proved to be unstoppable on Sunday, powering to his first world title and London Marathon win at the World Para Athletics Marathon Championships. The 20-year-old has had a dominant year, sealing his fourth major marathon victory after wins in Chicago, New York, and Boston.
In a tight men’s race, Romanchuk battled Marcel Hug of Switzerland and Tomoki Suzuki of Japan before making his break with 600-meters left to pull away and break the tape in 1:33:38. Hug finished in second with a time of 1:33:42 while Suzuki completed the podium in 1:33:51.
The Paralympian, who came in third in last year’s race, has had a remarkable marathon season. With the win, he locked in the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XII title which began in Berlin last year and amasses six major marathons around the world.
Switzerland’s Manuela Schär sustained her lead early on to capture the world title in the women’s division with a time of 1:44:09. Team USA’s Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Maryland) finished with silver in 1:49:42, holding off 2018 London Marathon winner Madison de Rozario of Australia in 1:49:44.
The marathon world champion in 2015, McFadden has worked to regain top form after battling health and equipment issues over the last few years. In London, she competed using U.S. coach Adam Bleakney’s racing wheelchair after her chair broke at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.
Separated by only a second, Katrina Gerhard (Acton, Massachusetts) and Arielle Rausin (Cape Coral, Florida) rounded out the top ten for Team USA, placing seventh (1:52:11) and ninth (1:52:12), respectively.
With two top-four finishes, Team USA secured two track and field qualification slots for the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The U.S. will look ahead to the next major events, the Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru from August 23-September 1 and the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from November 7-15.
“This has been an incredible year. I could not be here without all of the support along the way from my coaches, teammates, family and friends. I thank God for the opportunities I’ve been presented with.”
“I never come into a race saying ‘oh, I’m going to win this’ or have a plan to come in a specific position. There’s such a strong field here. It could have been anyone’s race.”
“I think we’ve known it’s possible, it’s just a matter of everything coming together in the right spot at the right time. Going back to the support I’ve had has just been incredible.”
“It’s been a challenging year between my health the last two years and my chair [breaking] but I feel like all of these setbacks will make me even stronger coming back.”
“I’m really pleased to get second at the world championships. I’m sitting exactly where I need to be for Tokyo and I can only get stronger and learn from my mistakes. I know the course in Tokyo is going to be really technical, as well, with a lot of turns and up-and-downs. I’m pleased and just need to be patient. Now it’s time to switch gears and get ready for track.”
Cathrine Erickson, Director of U.S. Paralympics Track & Field
“We’re extremely proud of how our athletes represented Team USA today, especially Daniel [Romanchuk] and Tatyana [McFadden] with their podium finishes, both of whom are coached by one of the top coaches in the world, Adam Bleakney. We can’t thank the London Marathon organizing committee and World Para Athletics enough, including Michelle Weltman and Laura Danning, for hosting a first-class marathon and world championships.”
Team USA Results
1st – Daniel Romanchuk
2nd – Tatyana McFadden
7th – Katrina Gerhard
9th – Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minn.), Arielle Rausin
13th – Susannah Scaroni (Tekoa, Wa.)
14th – Michelle Wheeler (Boalsburg, Pa.)
17th – James Senbeta (Philadelphia), Pa.)
22nd – Brian Siemann (Millstone, N.J.)
27th – Josh George (Herndon, Va.)
Full results from the London Marathon can be found here.