Two reigning World Para Athletics Marathon Cup winners will feature in the British team of five at April’s Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 28 April 2019, which incorporates the marathon events for the World Para Athletics Championships.
With the world championships taking place in Dubai during November, the marathon medals will be up for grabs in the highly-competitive fields in London earlier in the year.
David Weir (club: Weir Archer Academy, coach: Jenny Archer) won a record eighth London Marathon last year, and with a world medal also a possibility at the event, motivation will be high for the 2019 edition.
Weir announced last Autumn that he is targeting qualification for the T54 marathon at next year’s Tokyo Paralympic Games, and the London event will play a key part in those preparations.
Joining Weir on the start list is Commonwealth silver medallist, Johnboy Smith (Weir Archer Academy, Archer). He took some notable scalps at the Berlin marathon last Autumn – including Weir and New York marathon winner Daniel Romanchuk (USA) – on his way to a PB of 1:29:44.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Simon Lawson (Carlisle Tri, Ian Thompson) will also contest the T54 marathon.
Another World Cup gold medallist from 2018 is Derek Rae (Fife, Ron Morrison) who competes in the T46 classification for athletes with an arm impairment. The Scottish athlete – who has just returned from a warm weather training camp in Kenya – will be seeking another successful race around the streets of London, the location of his career best time of 2:33:24.
Finally, Charlotte Ellis (New Marske) makes her debut for a British Athletics team in the visual impairment class. With a best of 3:25:55 to her name, which she set at the Manchester marathon last April, the New Marske athlete takes on the best in the world in the T12 class.
Para Athletics Head Coach, Paula Dunn MBE said:
“We are delighted that London will once again host the world championship marathon events in April. It provides our marathon athletes with an essential opportunity to compete for world medals, and in doing so, taking on the best in the world in their classifications, which will be perfect preparation for next year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
“We have a very strong team with consistent performers who have excelled at this event in recent years and Charlotte who will be representing the British team for the first time, so I am excited to see how they perform in London.”
The British Athletics team for the World Para Athletics Marathon Championships at the London Marathon on Sunday 28 April 2019:
Charlotte Ellis [Guide Runner; Lucy Niemz] (New Marske)
Simon Lawson (Carlisle Tri, Ian Thompson)
Derek Rae (Fife, Ron Morrison)
Johnboy Smith (Weir Archer Academy, Jenny Archer)
David Weir (Weir Archer Academy, Jenny Archer)