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London Marathon wheelchair race prize fund to be same as able-bodied

London Marathon: “We are proud of our history in championing participants with disabilities, from introducing our first wheelchair race in 1983 to hosting IPC World Championships on multiple occasions. We are delighted to continue our commitment to disability sport with this landmark move”

Last Updated: 22/02/24 8:50am

The London Marathon's wheelchair race prize fund will be the same amount as the able-bodied races in 2024

The London Marathon’s wheelchair race prize fund will be the same amount as the able-bodied races in 2024

In a historic moment for disability sport, the London Marathon has become the first in the world to make its prize money for wheelchair and able-bodied athletes the same.

The London Marathon wheelchair races were already the richest in the world, but a further increase of $54,500 (£43,000) to the prize money in 2024 means the total prize pot stands at $308,000 (£243,000), creating parity with able-bodied athletes.

This means all winners in the elite races of the 2024 London Marathon on Sunday April 21 will receive $55,000 (£43,500), with the runner-up earning $30,000 (£24,000) and third-place $22,500 (18,000).

Hugh Brasher, event director of the London Marathon, said: “We are proud of our history in championing participants with disabilities, from introducing our first wheelchair race in 1983 to hosting the IPC World Championships on multiple occasions and providing a pathway from the Mini London Marathon to the London Marathon and beyond for Paralympic legends such as David Weir.

“We are delighted to continue our commitment to disability sport with this landmark move that ensures the prize money available to our elite wheelchair athletes is exactly the same as for those in the able-bodied elite races.

“We have made great strides in recent years towards our ambition to make the London Marathon the most diverse and equitable marathon in the world and this is another important step towards achieving that goal.”

London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher spoke of his pride at a 'landmark move'

London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher spoke of his pride at a ‘landmark move’

The news has been described as a huge moment for fairness and equality in disability sport by Activity Alliance, the national charity for disabled people in sport and activity.

Adam Blaze, chief executive officer at Activity Alliance, said: “As the leading voice for disabled people in sport and activity, we strive for everyone to have fair access to opportunities. To see the London Marathon lead the way and create equal prize money is a huge positive step in making sports and physical activity fairer.

“For many years we have supported the wheelchair athletes’ race through our events team and watched many mini marathoners turn into elite superstars. We are extremely proud to have seen it develop into the superb competition it is today.”

British wheelchair racing legend David Weir will be racing his 25th consecutive London Marathon this year after graduating from the Mini London Marathon races. He is the most decorated athlete in the event’s history with a total of eight wins and says London’s move to creating parity in the elite race prize pots is something he hopes other events can follow.

Weir said: “It’s a very exciting year for me and for wheelchair racing, again London Marathon has set the bar for parity across the racing divisions. This is a huge benchmark for disability sport and I hope other races and sporting bodies can take note.”

London becomes the first marathon in the world to introduce equal prize money across wheelchair and able-bodied races

London becomes the first marathon in the world to introduce equal prize money across wheelchair and able-bodied races

Weir will be racing the undisputed number one wheelchair racer in the world at the 2024 London Marathon in the shape of Marcel Hug (SUI).

Hug became the first man to win all six Abbott World Marathon Majors in a single season last year and will be looking for his fourth straight victory in London.

Hug said: “I am so excited that the London Marathon is leading by example with equal prize money and showing they are not just talking about equality but also demonstrating it.”

Marcel Hug will be looking for his fourth straight win in London

Marcel Hug will be looking for his fourth straight win in London

In the women’s field for the London Marathon are the past four winners of the event: Madison de Rozario (AUS), Catherine Debrunner (SUI), Manuela Schar (SUI) and Nikita den Boer (NED), as well as rising British star Eden Rainbow-Cooper.

The reigning champion De Rozario has welcomed the move to an equal prize fund, saying it has an impact far beyond sport.

De Rozario said: “We often say that sport is a mirror to society, but it can also be the starting point for much larger change and that’s what the London Marathon is doing here. This decision doesn’t just affect the athletes lining up in London in April, it has an overflow effect to not just how every other event values athletes with a disability, but how we view the 15 per cent of the global population living with disability.”

The 2024 London Marathon takes place on Sunday April 21. The men and women’s elite fields will be announced on Monday February 26.

Sky News
(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source