Schär goes for second London Marathon victory against top field
Manuela Schär smashed the women’s wheelchair course record to take her first London Marathon victory 12 months ago. The Swiss star will start as favourite to win the coveted $25,000 prize for a second time on Sunday 22 April as she faces the United States' trio of Tatyana McFadden, Amanda McGrory and Susannah Scaroni. She will also line up with new Commonwealth Games' T54 marathon gold medallist Australian Madison de Rozario.
Schär arrived in London last year full of confidence after racing to the quickest time in history at the Boston Marathon six days earlier. She promptly destroyed the field over the London course, winning by almost five minutes in 1:39:57.
She went on to notch up further Abbott World Marathon Majors wins in Berlin and New York last autumn, and Tokyo this February, and now holds an unbreachable lead in the standings.
McFadden got the better of her in Chicago last October, however, and the US star and Series X World Marathon Majors champion will be keen to regain the London crown she won four times in a row between 2013 and 2016.
Forced to miss last year’s race after undergoing operations for blood clots, McFadden returned to form on the track last July when she won four gold medals at the London 2017 World Para Athletics World Championships.
She carried that form on to Chicago where she broke the course record securing her eighth victory in the Windy City, her seventh in a row since 2011.
McGrory is also in good form having placed second in Boston, London and Chicago in 2017 before taking third in New York.
She was runner-up behind Schär again in Tokyo this February and will have high hopes of continuing her superb London record. McGrory not only won the London title in 2009 and 2011, but has been on the podium no fewer than six times since her debut in 2008.
Scaroni is another consistent performer from the same University of Illinois racing team as her US team-mates. She made the London podium for the first time last year when she was third and went to grab top 10 finishes in Chicago, New York and Tokyo over the last 12 months.
China’s Paralympic champion Zou Lihong is another potential threat while up and coming Australian Madison de Rozario was a top-five finisher in Chicago and New York last autumn. De Rozario won Sunday's T54 Marathon at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on home soil.
British hopes rest with Jade Jones who made the top five in London for the first time last year with a personal best. She returns from her success on the Gold Coast, where she won gold in her other sport, para-triathlon, and a bronze in the T54 marathon. With this double podium success under her belt, the Commonwealth Games' closing ceremony flag bearer will be looking to improve her time again this year's race.