Extension to deal between IPC and The London Marathon Ltd to see athletes compete in Virgin Money London Marathon for the next four years
The IPC Marathon World Cup will continue to be held in London through to at least 2017 thanks to a four-year extension to the deal between the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and The London Marathon Ltd.
London staged the first IPC Athletics Marathon World Cup this April, with over 70 athletes from a range of impairment groups including visually impaired, arm and leg amputees and wheelchair racers having competed.
Chairman of the IPC Athletics sport technical committee, Ed Warner, explained the importance of extending the deal to ensure that athletes continue to have opportunities to compete at high-level events, particularly ahead of Rio 2016.
“Our strategic aim is to give the world’s best athletes greater high-level competition opportunities ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and this deal helps to provide this for marathon racers,” he commented.
“We are delighted to agree this deal with the London Marathon, as this year’s event was a great success and the feedback from the athletes who took part has been tremendous.”
Britain’s Paralympic and world champion Richard Whitehead was among the 2013 IPC Marathon World Cup winners in London earlier this year.
The versatile athlete – world record-holder over T42 200m, 400m, half-marathon and marathon – is set to return to the longer distance and take on his biggest challenge yet in running a marathon a day from John O’Groats to Land’s End, having been focusing on track action lately with the aim of retaining his world 200m title at the IPC World Championships in Lyon.
Australia’s Kurt Fearnley and Tatyana McFadden of the US won the men’s and women’s wheelchair races respectively in London in April, as Morocco’s El Amin Chentouf claimed the men’s T11-13 title, Maria Carman Paredes of Spain won the women’s T11-13 race and Italy’s Alessandro Di Lello claimed the men’s T44-46 honour.
The four-year contract is the latest addition to a programme of events for elite athletes on the world stage, which in 2013 has included the recent World Championships in Lyon, seven IPC Athletics Grand Prix events in Europe, Asia and the Americas and the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games in London’s Olympic Stadium.
“Following the spectacular performances of IPC athletes in the London Marathon this year, we are naturally very pleased to continue working with the IPC within our event to develop and raise the profile of the para-athletes in all categories, particularly over the next four years in the run-up to the 2017 World Championships in London,” commented Hugh Brasher, race director of the Virgin Money London Marathon.
“We feel that we can continue to work with IPC Athletics to improve standards, ultimately developing the sport of elite marathon running within these classes. We strongly believe this is a natural progression from the work we have already done within elite wheelchair marathon racing.”