Huig and McFadden Claim Boston Wins Again


The men’s race in Boston (Photo: IPC)


BOSTON – There were familiar names at the top of the results in the Boston Marathon on Monday as Marcel Hug and Tatyana McFadden won the races in difficult conditions on the famous course.

With intense winds and pouring rain, all the athletes in Boston were made to work hard just to finish the course and impressive performances from Hug and McFadden saw them win the legendary marathon yet again.

Early in the race South African Ernst van Dyk and Hug broke away from the pack and took the lead before Hug broke away on Heartbreak Hill. Hug won the race in 1:46:26, which is one of his slowest times on the course thanks to the difficult conditions, claiming his fourth straight title.

“It was very cold all the time, just freezing. I was together with Ernst van Dyk but then in the uphill, I broke away,” said Hug. “It was just so tough, so freezing, I don’t realize what happened now – I’m just very glad I made it.”

Van Dyk did manage to hold on for second place finishing a minute behind Hug with American Daniel Romanchuk finishing a further three minutes back for third place.

The defending champion in the women’s race Manuela Schaer was leading the race in the early stages, but before the halfway mark she was caught by McFadden. The American just pushed on from there claiming a big victory in 2:03:39, her fifth Boston crown.

“I knew today was going to be tough so I started out comfortably, what I could handle down that hill because it was pretty scary but I just kept hammering; kept a consistent speed, really working on the ups and the straight-aways – and I did it,” said McFadden after the race.

It was an American one-two in the women’s with Susannah Scaroni leading in the rest of the field in 2:20:01 while Switzerland managed a second medal of the day with Sandra Graf wrapping up the podium in 2:26:32.


Laureus Sports Award Finalists Named

Jezte Plat after winning the Hawaii Ironman (Photo: IPC)

MONACO – The biggest award in para sport has seen nominees named as the Laureus World Sports Awards announced its shortlist of six athletes for the World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability award. Marcel Hug, Yui Kamiji, Oksana Masters, Bibian Mentel-Spee, Jezte Plat, and Markus Rehm have all been named nominees for the award which will be handed out in Monaco on February 27th.

Marcel Hug had another phenomenal season in 2017, winning three world championships at the World Para Athletics Championship in London in the 800m, 1,500m, and 5,000m. On top of his work on the track he was a star on the road winning the Tokyo, Boston, Berlin, Chicago, and New York Marathons.

Yui Kamiji has climbed to the top of the women’s singles wheelchair tennis rankings after a phenomenal year in 2017. In 2017 the Japanese tennis player won 14 singles titles out of a possible 18 through the tour, winning three of the four Grand Slams, winning in Australia, France and the US. She also impressed in doubles, sitting number two in the world winning eight titles and two Grand Slams.

Oksana Masters moved to a new sport in 2017, for the third time in her career moving from rowing to cycling to now Nordic skiing. Masters won four world titles in her first year as an elite athlete at the sport along with winning four gold and a bronze in the World Cup. Masters finished her season ranked number one in cross-country and third in biathlon.

Bibian Mentel-Spee had a phenomenal come back year in 2017, after cancer treatment took her away from competing in 2016. Mentel-Spee has long led snowboarding, fighting for its inclusion at the Paralympic Games she continued to impress in 2017.

Being an elite athlete at one sport wasn’t enough for Dutchman Jetze Plat who was at the top of both cycling and triathlon. Plat won the Individual Time Trial and Road Race at the UCI Para Cycling World Championships and then went and won the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final just 12 days later. Nine days after that win Plat won the Berlin Marathon before claiming the para-athlete title at the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon in October, leading from start to finish.

German Markus Rehm continued to impress in Para Athletics claiming two world titles in very different disciplines in London. Rehm dominated the field in the men’s long jump T44 with an eight meter leap, more than one meter clear of the rest of the field before winning the 4x100m T42-46 with his German team mates.

Indian Paralympian Called to High Court

CHENNAI, T.N., India – Rio 2016 T42 High Jump gold medalist Mariyappan Thangavelu has received some unwelcome attention as he has been called into the Madras High Court following a court order on Tuesday.

Justice Ramesh of the high court issued the order, after previously listing Mariyappan as a respondant in a murder case. The case concerns the death of a 19 year-old Satish Kumar with Mariyappan called in as a potential defendant.

Kumar was found dead near railway tracks in the town of Salem in Tamil Nadu state, this death came after an alleged collision with Mariyappan. The question in the case is whether the death was an accident because of the collision or whether there was any further assault of Kumar as part of the incident.

The allegation is that after Kumar hit Mariyappan’s car, Mariyappan and his friends, in the car with Mariyappan at the time, grabbed Kumar and assaulted him. Allegedly Kumar escaped and returned home only for the group to grab him again, steal his phone and assault him again.

The accusations stem from the victims mother, who attempted to get a police investigation into the matter staged, but that ended up not happening. When that attempt failed she appealed to Justice Ramesh, who took this motion on Tuesday.

Following an attempt from the magistrate to get Mariyappan to respond to the case on September 11th went unanswered, this request takes it one further. Following the request Mariyappan will have to respond with the investigation proceeding from here.



Youssef Benibrahim Finally wins World Title 

The third night of the World Para Athletics Championships inLondon have been completed with yet another world record made in the men’s5000m T13 on Sunday.Moroccan Youssef Benibrahim finally broke through for aworld championship in his fourth attempt, following missing the podium in thelast three attempts. This time he won a sprint to claim the title, outsprinting Tunisian Bilel Aloui to win 14:20.69 and set a new world record.

The race was led for much of the way was El Amin Chentouf,Benibrahim’s team mate but as is common in the 5000m races, the pace picked upin the final two laps and Chentouf dropped out. Aloui was chasing hard to tryand catch Benibrahim but he couldn’t haul him in.

“Thisis a great birthday present, a little bit in advance. All my preparation wasabout winning a medal here in London, I did not think about the world record atall. So I am very surprised and blessed. My wife is pregnant so I want todedicate this victory to her and also to my coach and my mother.” SaidBenibrahim after the race.

Therewere two field gold medals for the United States as two defending champions,Jeremy Campbell and Lex Gillette, claimed gold. Campbell won his third straightmen’s discus F44 gold medal beating out Dave Blair with the very last throw ofthe competition. Gillette also won his third straight title as he claimed the men’slong jump T11 with a leap of 6.27m beating the Paralympic champion, BrazilianRicardo Costa.

Thehome fans had something to cheer about as British thrower Aled Davies won themen’s discus F42 comfortably. Davies won with a championship record of 51.54malmost five meters ahead of the rest of the field, claiming the first leg ofhis throwing treble.

The women’s javelin F54 was something of a rematch of the2015 final as China’s Liwan Yang got some revenge over Tunisian Hania Aidi forthe 2015 final. There were just eight centimeters between the two with Yangmanaging a 17.79m throw.

Algerian Kamel Kardjena reclaimed his men’s shot put F33title in a tight competition against German Daniel Scheil. The two men are themost recent Paralympic Champions and Kardjena won by seven centimeters with athrow of 10.43m winning in the same venue he won Paralympic gold.

Malaysian Abdul Latif Romly set a new championship record inthe long jump T20 final managing a 7.37m jump. Australian James Turner manageda phenomenal achievement in the T36 200m as he broke the world record, settinghim up for a probable world championship.

Tragic Incident Claims Life of Para Athlete Abdullah Hayayei

Abdullah Hayayei at a World Para Athletics Event

There has been heart breaking news in the build up to the World Para Athletic Championships in London as Abdullah Hayayei of the United Arab Emirates died following a training ground incident in London on Tuesday night.

Hayayei was practicing ahead of the world championships, training at the Newham Leisure Center which was open to athletes. Hayayei is an F34 class thrower and could well have had an impact in the event with some strong performances recently.

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Vanessa Low Switches from Germany to Australia

Australia has gained a Paralympic Athletics champion as Vanessa Low announced on Tuesday that she will be switching her international affiliation from Germany to Australia.

Low will be competing as an Australian for the first time on June 23rd at the Integrative Sports Festival hosted by her German club, TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen in Leverkusen. That is Low’s home town but she has since moved to Australia, following time in the United States.

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Throwing Events Dominate Action at Berlin Grand Prix

Andre Rocha competing in Berlin (Photo: IPC)

With athletes leading up to the World Para Athletics Championships world records have continued to fall as the action moved to Berlin for the Berlin Grand Prix this weekend.

Most notably there were two world records for the Brazilian F52 thrower Andre Rocha, who has been returning since April, from surgery. He broke the world record for shot put record with his first throw in the competition and in the discus a day later, again with his first throw, breaking his own record in both events.

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