Manuela Schär wins $7,000 for herself and chosen charity in Abbott World Marathon Majors accumulator at 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon
- New sprint competition held during wheelchair races for the first time
- AbbottWMM matches prize money with donation to a charity chosen by athlete
- Weir Archer Academy and Wheelpower both receive money from $20,000 pot
Manuela Schär (SUI) was the most successful athlete in the first Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) Accumulator at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon.
The AbbottWMM Accumulator was a sprint competition within both wheelchair races that enabled athletes to win additional prize money which will be matched by AbbottWMM with a donation to a UK-registered charity of the athlete’s choice.
There were four sprints in total during the race which was 19.7 laps. Sprint one was the start of lap five (15 laps to go), sprint two at the start of lap nine (11 laps to go), sprint three at the start of Lap 13 (seven laps to go) and sprint four at the start of Lap 18 (two laps to go). The sprints were from the finish gantry to the start gantry (approximately 505 metres).
The prize money was as follows:
- Sprint 1: $4,000
- Sprint 2: $3,000
- Sprint 3: $2,000
- Sprint 4: $1,000
Two-time Virgin Money London Marathon champion Schär finished a surprise runner-up in the elite women’s wheelchair race behind Nikita den Boer (NED) but she did have reason to celebrate as she won the highest prize pot in the AbbottWMM Accumulator of all athletes in both men’s and women’s wheelchair races.
Schär won sprints one and two in the women’s wheelchair race to earn $7,000 and chose the Weir Archer Academy as the beneficiary of Abbott’s match-funding.
Eventual 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon champion den Boer won $3,000 as the winner of sprints three and four and chose Wheelpower to receive the World Marathon Majors donation.
In the men’s race, 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon champion Brent Lakatos (CAN) also won the most prize money in the AbbottWMM Accumulator. He won sprints two, three and four to earn $6,000 in total and his chosen charity was also Wheelpower.
Marcel Hug (SUI), who finished third overall in the men’s race, won $4,000 by winning sprint one and his chosen charity was the Weir Archer Academy.
Tim Hadzima, Executive Director of Abbott World Marathon Majors, said: “We were extremely happy to see the amazing wheelchair athletes return to the streets of London for an exciting race day on Sunday. The Abbott World Marathon Majors are delighted to make the donations to these two very worthy causes who do so much work to support wheelchair racing in the UK and ensure future generations in the sport.”
The Weir Archer Academy, which will receive a total of $11,000, was created by eight-time London Marathon champion David Weir, who was runner-up in the 2020 race, and his coach Jenny Archer. Their ambition is to pass on their knowledge, experience, and enjoyment of the benefits of sport to the next generation of disabled people. In 2019, The London Marathon Charitable Trust awarded The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames a £20,000 grant to build an indoor wheelchair sports training facility for the Weir Archer Academy.
Wheelpower, which will receive $9,000, is the national charity for wheelchair sport based at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, the birthplace of the Paralympics. It provides opportunities for disabled people to play sport and lead healthy active lives.