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Romanchuk and Schär repeat as champions in New York City

Daniel Romanchuk of the U.S. and Switzerland's Manuela Schär both successfully defended their titles in the wheelchair division of the 2019 New York City Marathon on Sunday

Well before Geoffrey Kamworor and Joyciline Jepkosgei broke the tape to win the men’s and women’s titles at the New York City Marathon, Daniel Romanchuk and Manuela Schär had both reclaimed their titles in the wheelchair races. 

Romanchuk, a 21-year-old who lives and trains in Illinois, won the men’s race for the second year in a row, replicating a sprint finish much like his 2018 victory. Just like last year, Romanchuk out-sprinted Switzerland’s Marcel Hug, a three-time champion in New York, to take the win in 1:37:24 to Hug’s 1:37:25.

Daniel Romanchuk (centre) with Marcel Hug (left) and David Weir at the finish of the 2019 New York City Marathon. (Photo: Twitter/TCS New York City Marathon)

Great Britain’s David Weir rounded out the podium, finishing just three seconds behind Hug. American Aaron Pike was also in the mix for a spot on the podium, but he ultimately fell back of the top three men and finished nine seconds after Romanchuk for fourth place.

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At the start of the race, Romanchuk set off quickly. After 5K, he was almost 20 seconds clear of Hug. At 10K, the gap had shrunk to nine seconds. When they hit the 15K mark, the two men clocked an identical 31:11 split. At the halfway point, Hug and Romanchuk were side by side with a gap of over a minute on Weir and Pike, who were within a second of one another. 

At 25K, the two leaders were still 50 seconds clear of their chasers, but 10 kilometres later, Weir and Pike had erased that gap, and it was suddenly a four-man race. Over the final seven kilometres, the group stayed together, and Romanchuk managed to power ahead for the win in a tightly-contested battle. 

The women’s race was much less suspenseful. Switzerland’s Manuela Schär cruised to the win in 1:44:20, a four-minute victory over second-place finisher Tatyana McFadden of the U.S. 

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Schär made the podium in New York from 2013 to 2016, but McFadden consistently got the better of her to win in each of those years. In recent years, however, Schär has turned the tables on the American, and her crown in New York City marks the third year in a row in which she has topped McFadden for the win.

Manuela Schär (centre) with Tatyana McFadden (left) and third-place finisher Susannah Scaroni at the finish of the 2019 New York City Marathon. (Photo: Twitter/TCS New York City Marathon)

Schär is now the reigning champion in all six marathon majors. Her win in New York was her ninth consecutive world major victory, bumping her overall tally to 15 across the board from Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City. 

Romanchuk and Schär are dominant forces in the wheelchair marathon scene, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down heading into 2020.