At every stop on this season’s World Marathon Majors schedule, Paralympic Daniel Romanchuk was facing the greatest wheelchair marathoners in the world, many of whom had more experience and success than the 21-year-old.
But Romanchuk is the one who ended up on top, clinching the elite men’s wheelchair division title following the end of the 2018-19 series Sunday in Berlin.
Romanchuk won four Majors in the series — including becoming the first American to win the New York and Boston marathons. Romanchuk is the first American man to win the elite men’s wheelchair division and the first American man to win any World Marathon Majors title. He held off two-time defending champion Marcel Hug of Switzerland, who won two marathons including Sunday’s in Germany. Romanchuk finished with 124 points to Hug’s 98. Brent Lakatos of Canada was third.
Romanchuk, from Mount Airy, Maryland, made his Paralympic Games debut in Rio in 2016.
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In the elite women’s wheelchair division, seven-time Paralympic gold medalist Tatyana McFadden finished second in her bid for a second World Marathon Majors title. McFadden placed second in four events, but nobody could catch Switzerland’s Manuela Schar who went a perfect seven-for-seven.
McFadden won the World Marathon Majors series in 2016-17. She has a silver medal in marathon from the Olympic Games Rio 2016, one of 17 career Paralympic medals in her multi-sport career. Besides the track, McFadden has competed in cross-country skiing at the Paralympic Winter Games.
Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.