Australian wheelchair racer Madison de Rozario has capped the best year of her career in spectacular style, becoming the first Australian woman to win the New York marathon.
De Rozario, who also won marathon gold at the Tokyo Paralympics three months ago, held off past champions Tatyana McFadden and Manuela Schar to claim the title.
De Rozario clocked a winning time of one hour, 51 minutes and one second, nearly three minutes ahead of local favourite McFadden.
“This is unreal,” said the 27-year-old from Perth.
“New York is one that I’ve never had amazing results on. It’s been my least successful event, and my least successful consistently.
“But the two years we weren’t travelling, we buried ourselves in base work and strength work, and it’s paid off, not just here but in Tokyo.”
De Rozario had also previously won the London marathon in 2018 and the World Para Athletics Championships event.
“I’ve been wanting to break into this part of my career for three years,” she said.
“The marathon is such a big challenge in terms of how you train for it.
“There’s such a huge difference between staying with a pack, or getting to the podium or even staying strong throughout the distance.
“But to back up a win — I’ve never been consistent. To come away with both New York and the Paralympics, shows how much work we have put in.”
Compatriot Kurt Fearnley won the men’s wheelchair event in New York five times, but de Rozario has become the first Australian woman, in either the wheelchair or open events, to salute at the iconic event.
Marcel Hug of Switzerland won the New York men’s wheelchair race for the fourth time on Sunday (Monday morning AEDT), adding yet another prize to a remarkable year that included four gold medals at the Tokyo Paralympics.