WHEELCHAIR STARS READY FOR WILD RIDE
The wheelchair series XIII of the Abbott World Marathon Majors promises fireworks aplenty this autumn.
The Virgin Money London Marathon and Boston Marathon have revealed their fields, and both will host several of the top names in the sport as they battle for points to climb the leaderboards.
Men's series leader and defending champion Daniel Romanchuk will appear in both races, as will two-time series champion Marcel Hug. Eight-time London champion David Weir will also cross the Atlantic to contest Boston seven days after London.
Romanchuk currently holds a healthy 25-point lead over Weir, with Japan's Tomoki Suzuki - also racing in both cities - in third position.
Women's leader and defending champion Manuela Schär will be contesting both races as she bids to regain the London crown she lost to Dutch athlete Nikita den Boer in October, and retain the Boston trophy she won in 2019.
Schär leads the USA's Tatyana McFadden 82 points to 32 at the top of the standings. McFadden's glittering AbbottWMM career includes a record 22 Majors wins and 17 Paralympic medals.
And it's the upcoming Games in Tokyo that will currently occupy the thoughts of many of these racers as they gear up for a packed schedule which, for the majority of them, will combine a host of distances on the track as well as the Paralympic marathon.
For the veteran Weir, the Games are a tasty appetiser to the Majors season that will follow.
"The Abbott World Marathon Majors races this autumn are going to be fast and intense and, for me, the Paralympics will actually be the warm-up, which is strange to say to be honest," he said.
"It is going to be the toughest run of competitions I've experienced and I think all the races will go right to the nail."