‘I’ve never won like that before’: De Rozario powers home in New York City Marathon
Madison de Rozario turned a tight early race into a one-woman show to become the first Australian woman to win the New York City Marathon wheelchair event.
De Rozario, 27, was in a dogfight with defending champion Manuela Schaer and five-time winner Tatyana McFadden early in the race. When leader McFadden hit the peak of the Queensboro Bridge and began to glide down, de Rozario sped past her and continued to build her lead. She finished in 1 hour, 51 minutes and 1 second.
Madison de Rozario after victory at the New York City Marathon.Credit:Getty
De Rozario said being chased by McFadden and Schaer “is one of the most terrifying things in the marathon”.
“So when that gap opened up, yeah, I just kind of tried to do everything I could to hold it,” she said.
De Rozario, who has competed at the New York City Marathon twice before, won the gold medal in the marathon at this year’s Tokyo Paralympic Games, edging Schaer by one second. She also won gold in the 800 metres in a Paralympic record time and bronze in the 1500 metres.
She intended to race in more international marathons, but because of Australia’s border restrictions she was concerned about being able to return home. The restrictions were lifted this month, enabling de Rozario to make it to New York in time.
The silver lining of staying at home, she said, was she was more rested than her rivals.
“I think it definitely played into it,” she said.
Unlike in Tokyo, where she held off several challengers in what she called a “panic sprint to the finish”, de Rozario led throughout the second half of the race.
“I’ve never won a marathon like that before, and I didn’t know how stressful it means to be out front like that because you really don’t know how close the next athlete is,” she said.
De Rozario will receive $25,000 for finishing first.
In the other divisions, Albert Korir of Kenya won the men’s race for his first major championship. In a dramatic finish to the women’s race, fellow Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir pulled away in the final metres to claim victory, just three months after she won gold in the women’s marathon at the Tokyo Olympics. And Marcel Hug of Switzerland, known as the “Silver Bullet,” continued his stellar 2021 by dominating the men’s wheelchair race for his fourth victory at the event.
The New York Times
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