Abbott WMM series crowns champions, as event marks big step for athlete equality

abbott wmm series crowns champions as event marks big step for athlete equality

JOHANNESBURG – America’s Susannah Scaroni and Swedish Marcel Hug became Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XIV champions with victories in the men’s and women’s wheelchair races.

This year, the series finale marked the first time the wheelchair prize money is equal to the able-bodied division’s – a move Hug called extremely significant.

“For us in the sport, it’s very important but also outside of the sport, it’s a big sign to show this equality. And it’s a great message. For me it’s a dream come true that we are equal to able-bodied athletes,” said Hug.

CEO of the Abbott World Marathon Majors – Dawna Stone said the move to equating the wheelchair racing division with the elite runner division across the series competition was an important step for them as an organisation.

“We want to champion all our elite athletes and by providing more prize money to our wheelchair division, we hope this will help encourage others into the sport.”

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreslase have also been crowned 2022 series champions.

Ethiopia’s Gebreslase is now the second woman from her country after Gete Wami to win the title of the Abbott World Marathon Majors series.

Additional to the six, Abbott World Marathon Majors, the Olympic or Paralympic Marathons and World Athletics or World Para Athletics Championships are included in the series in the years they are held.

This year, the Series XIV began at the Tokyo Marathon in March and the champions were crowned at the TCS New York City Marathon in November.

The champions of each AbbottWMM Series are the male and female athlete who scores the greatest number of points from the qualifying races during the scoring period.

For an elite athlete during each scoring period, points from a maximum of two qualifying races will be counted and they must start in at least two qualifying races during the series to be eligible for the prize. If an athlete earns points in more than two events, the athlete’s highest two finishes are scored.

The Wheelchair Series follows the same rules, but points from an athlete’s best four races count towards the total or best five during years with Paralympic Games or World Championship marathons.

READ: CT Marathon organisers ready for bid to join World Marathon Majors

Meanwhile, Cape Town Marathon is a candidate for selection to be part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors alongside six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world.

The evaluation process will continue over the next three years and if successful, Cape Town will become part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors in 2025, joining Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York.

It was for the first time in South African and African history that an elite wheelchair racing division was included in a marathon at the recent Cape Town Marathon.

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