In a thrilling sprint finish, Madison de Rozario secured victory in the women’s wheelchair race at the London Marathon, setting a new course record and outperforming a highly competitive field of athletes.
As a two-time Paralympic champion and Australia’s top female athlete of 2022, de Rozario overcame intense competition in one of the closest races in the history of the event, narrowly defeating Swiss athlete Manuela Schar by a single second.
De Rozario took the lead as the top contenders vied for position during the final stretch of the race, displaying incredible power and stamina to fend off her challengers and claim her second London Marathon title, five years after her first.
???? London Marathon Champion ????
An amazing sprint to the line sees Madison de Rozario claim her second @LondonMarathon title after her first in 2018 ????
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) April 23, 2023
Her remarkable performance resulted in a course record of one hour, 38 minutes, and 51 seconds, with Schar just one second after, and Swiss athlete Catherine Debrunner and American Susannah Scaroni close behind. The quartet finished with a gap of only six seconds between them.
This victory is another exceptional achievement for the 29-year-old de Rozario, adding to her impressive record of two Paralympic golds, three world titles, and four Commonwealth golds.
“That was an intimidating field to be a part of. You look around and see these three women you’re pushing with and thinking ‘these are the best athletes in the world’,” de Rozario said.
“Cat [Debrunner] won this race last year in a course record, Manuela’s been dominant for such a long time and Susannah’s come off the back of winning Boston by five minutes.
“So to win a sprint from them was amazing.”
Adding to the impressiveness of her win, de Rozario managed to pull off an exceptional sprint finish only six days after coming in second place at the Boston Marathon, where she finished over five minutes behind Scaroni.
In the race’s final moments, it seemed as though four-time winner Schar might overtake de Rozario, but the Australian athlete maintained her lead.
“I could see Manuela’s wheel coming up next to me, but I stayed focused. This race means so much to me, and being alongside athletes I look up to is incredible,” de Rozario said.
The victory was even more meaningful for de Rozario, as she had to withdraw due to illness just before the start of last year’s London Marathon.
“Having to pull out last year was devastating for me,” she shared.
“So crossing the finish line this year was a truly special moment.”