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Romanchuk, Schar the unstoppable stars of wheelchair racing

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Romanchuk, Schar the unstoppable stars of wheelchair racing
Athletics - New York City Marathon - New York, United States - November 3, 2019 Daniel Romanchuk of the U.S. poses as he celebrates winning the men's wheelchair race REUTERS/Brendan McDermid   -   Copyright  BRENDAN MCDERMID(Reuters)
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By Amy Tennery

NEWYORK (Reuters) – The New York City Marathon’s wheelchair champions Daniel Romanchuk and Manuela Schar once again dominated the competition on Sunday, burnishing their reputation as the most fearsome figures in the sport.

For 21-year-old Romanchuk, who qualified for the U.S. Paralympic team at the Chicago Marathon last month, and four-time Paralympian Schar, the New York City race capped a year of professional transformation.

To clinch her ninth straight World Marathon Major, Schar took the lead early and ripped apart the course, saying she had no idea how much of a lead she had claimed until the end, despite having a four-minute margin of victory.

“I’m always trying to pull away and go for a fast time,” said Schar, who finished in one hour, 44 minutes and 20 seconds. “I had no idea if they’re just behind me or if they’re minutes away or if they’re getting closer or if I’m going away. It’s difficult.”

History repeated itself for Romanchuk, who battled against Marcel Hug through much of the course before a sprint to the finish to beat his Swiss competitor by one second, as he did in 2018.

“It was a very tight finish,” said Romanchuk, who like Schar was fresh off of winning the Chicago Marathon. “As it got later in the race, there’s just more and more people catching up and making a bigger group, and then things got a little bit more tactical.”

(Reporting By Amy Tennery; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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