David Weir sets sights on seventh London Marathon title while Tatyana McFadden looks to successfully defend her women’s wheelchair crown
Six-time Paralympic champion David Weir will take on the likes of Swiss racers Marcel Hug and Heinz Frei and Canada’s Josh Cassidy when he returns to the streets of London on April 13 on the hunt for a record seventh London Marathon title.
Australia’s Kurt Fearnley, the man who denied Weir victory in 2013, will not be defending his title, though winner of last year’s women’s race, American Tatyana McFadden, will be back looking to retain her crown after a year of dominating both the road and track.
“I’ve got that hunger back now,” said Weir, who took a partial break from racing in 2013 following his London 2012 triumphs.
“I always have an ‘off year’ after the Paralympics and last year was no different,” he explained.
The 34-year-old equalled Tanni Grey-Thompson’s record of six London Marathon victories in 2012, and had hoped to make it seven last year, but after being beaten in a bunch sprint he had to settle for fifth.
“I’ve been training really hard again because I still have the desire to overtake Tanni’s record,” he added. “I promised last year I wouldn’t stop until I’ve done it, and now I’m fired up to win again.”
Weir didn’t compete at the IPC World Championships in Lyon last summer, but Hug did – winning five gold medals. He will be one of Weir’s main challengers in London, as will world marathon record-holder Frei, 2010 London champion Cassidy and nine-time Boston Marathon winner Ernst van Dyk of South Africa.
McFadden heads the women’s field, the triple Paralympic champion – who also won a record six golds in Lyon – having broken the course record when winning her first London title last April just six days after also claiming Boston Marathon victory.
Shelly Woods will again fly the flag for Britain, the London 2012 marathon silver medallist on the hunt for her third London Marathon title after finishing fifth last year. Woods will be joined by teenager Jade Jones, a three-time Mini London Marathon winner, who is making her debut in the senior event.
The main wheelchair races will again form part of the IPC Athletics Marathon World Cup which this year features a total of seven races.
Moroccan runner El Amin Chentouf returns to defend his T11-13 title and will race against the likes of Bob Matthews who won 13 Paralympic athletics medals for Britain at five Games between 1984 and 2000, including a marathon silver in Sydney, and represented New Zealand in cycling at the London 2012 Games.
Marathon world record-holder Richard Whitehead will again feature in the T42/43 race after a year which saw him complete 40 marathons in 40 days for charity.
2014 Virgin Money London Marathon elite wheelchair fields (with PBs):
David Weir (GBR), 1:27:46
Josh Cassidy (CAN), 1:18:25
Ernst van Dyk (RSA), 1:18:27
Heinz Frei (SUI), 1:20:14
Marcel Hug (SUI), 1:21:23
Kota Hokinoue (JPN), 1:22:01
Choke Yasuoka (JPN), 1:22:17
Rafael Botello Jimenez (ESP), 1:22:18
Denis Lemeunier (FRA), 1:22:31
Joshua George (USA), 1:22:50
Michel Filteau (CAN), 1:23:02
Hiroyuki Yamamoto (JPN), 1:23:16
Roger Puigbo Verdaguer (ESP), 1:23:22
Jordi Jimenez (ESP), 1:23:26
Krige Schabort (USA), 1:24:22
Tomasz Hamerlak (POL), 1:27:18
Pierre Fairbank (FRA), 1:31:11
Richard Colman (AUS), 1:32:03
Simon Lawson (GBR), 1:34:01
Tatyana McFadden (USA), 1:45:03
Wakako Tsuchida (JPN), 1:34:06
Sandra Graf (SUI), 1:35:44
Amanda McGrory (USA), 1:36:39
Shirley Reilly (USA), 1:37:36
Shelly Woods (GBR), 1:37:44
Manuela Schär (SUI), 1:38:07
Diane Roy (CAN), 1:40:09
Susannah Scaroni (USA), 1:42:46
Christie Dawes (AUS), 1:47:04
Jade Jones (GBR), Debut
2014 IPC Athletics Marathon World Cup fields (with PBs):
El Amin Chentouf (MAR), T12, 2:24:00
Elkin Alonso Serna Moreno (COL), T12, 2:26:39
Abderrahim Zhiou (TUN), T12, 2:26:56
Andrea Cionna (ITA), T12, 2:31:59
Ildar Pomykalov (RUS), T11, 2:33:27
Manuel Garnica (ESP), T11, 2:36:02
Gabriel Machado (POR), T12, 2:37:23
Igor Khavlin (RUS), T11, 2:37:59
Carlos Ferreira (POR), T11, 2:38:27
Gabriel Macchi (POR), T12, 2:40:13
Joaquim Machado (POR), T11, 2:42:37
Jorge Pina (POR), T12, 2:46:46
Bob Matthews (NZL), T11, 2:47:18
Hatem Nasrallah (TUN), T12, 2:57:08
Ricardo de Pedraza (ESP), T11, 2:57:11
Gerrard Gosens (AUS), T11, 2:59:18
Maria Carman Parades Garcia (ESP), T12, 3:00:06
Ivonne Mosquera-Schmidt (USA), T11, 3:06:00
Mihoko Nishijimim (JPN), T12, 3:15:36
Yumiko Konno (JPN), T11, 3:28:11
Yumiko Fuji (JPN), T12, 3:28:39
Misato Michishita (JPN), T12, 3:38:28
Richard Whitehead (GBR), T42, 2:42:52
Tito Sena (BRA), T46, 2:30:40
Alessandro di Lello (ITA), T46, 2:31:06
Jose Antonio Castilla (ESP), T46, 2:35:15
Mario Bauer (AUT), T46, 2:46:15
Ezequiel Marcelo da Costa (BRA), T46, 2:47:36
Michael Wood (CAN), T46, 2:51:09
Johann Lendner (GER), T46, 2:54:53
Pedro Meza (MEX), T46, 2:46:20
Santiago Sanz (ESP), T52, 1:46:09
Raymond Martin (USA), T52, 1:59:41
Rob Smith (GBR), T52, 2:01:31
Stefan Strobel (GER), T51, 2:37:15