Schär shines supreme on London’s streets
Manuela Schär completed a clean sweep of Abbott World Marathon Majors races over the last 12 months by winning her second Virgin Money London Marathon in commanding fashion today.
The Swiss superstar also took gold in the World Para Athletics Marathon Championships and secured her marathon spot at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as she cruised home almost six minutes ahead of Tatyana McFadden in 1:44:09.
The talented line-up did not phase the 2017 winner and course record holder made a break early and battled the blustery headwind to claim her sixth Majors title in a row since placing fourth here last year, a string of success that puts her in an untouchable position at the top of the Series XII standings.
“It feels amazing,” Schär said. “It’s unbelievable and I’ve had a great time over the last couple of months. Can you believe I have won all the Majors in one year?
“It’s going to take a little time for it all to sink in. I work hard constantly and it’s finally paid off.
“My shape was great today but this is a difficult course for me. There are not many places where you can sprint ahead, so you have to play it very carefully. I’m delighted I stuck to plan A and it really worked for me today.”
Plan A was to go early and push at the three-mile downhill mark, and from that moment on, it was her race.
By half way Schär had more than a minute’s lead on defending champion Madison de Rozario and she duly added the ‘Flying 400’ bonus prize en route to her dominant victory.
McFadden joined the chase with de Rozario and the four-time winner proved stronger at the end, clinching silver in 1:49:42, two seconds ahead of the Australian.
“I’m really proud and exactly where I should be right now,” said McFadden, who has been racing in her coach’s chair after her own broke in half in training last year.
“It’s such a technical course with speed bumps and downhills, which I could have taken a little quicker. I managed to work my up. I’m sitting exactly where I need to be ahead of Tokyo.”