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2024 U.S. Paralympic Team to be Decided at New York City Marathon

2024 U.S. Paralympic, athletics, New York City Marathon, Paralympic, Track & Field

In an exciting development for the world of Paralympic sports, the upcoming New York City Marathon on November 5th will play a pivotal role as the U.S. Paralympic Trials. As many as four wheelchair racers will have the opportunity to secure their spots as the first athletes, across all sports, to qualify for the highly anticipated 2024 Paris Paralympic Games.

The qualification process for these elite athletes is not without its challenges. To earn their place on the U.S. Paralympic team, the top two American athletes per gender must meet specific criteria. Firstly, they are required to record a minimum qualifying time during a designated window that commenced in October. Secondly, they must achieve a ranking within the top 10 in the world for women and the top 20 for men in their respective events.

One standout athlete who has already met both the time and ranking requirements is Susannah Scaroni. With an impressive Paralympic background, including a gold medal in the 5000m event at the Tokyo Paralympics, Scaroni has proven herself as a force to be reckoned with. However, her journey to the top has been filled with challenges, including a training accident in Illinois that resulted in fractured vertebrae, causing her to miss the entire fall 2021 major marathon season.

Undeterred by setbacks, Scaroni returned to the sport in 2022 in peak form. She secured her first major marathon title in Chicago and followed it up with victories in New York City and Boston, earning her the title of the world’s best in wheelchair racing, surpassing Swiss athlete Manuela Schär.

Reflecting on her remarkable victory in New York City last year, where she also set a course record, Scaroni expressed her sense of shock and disbelief. She emphasized that her approach to the sport remains the same, regardless of her achievements, stating, “Honestly, it doesn’t really change how I will approach this year.”

While Scaroni is considered the frontrunner for one of the U.S. Paralympic spots, the competition for the other spot is expected to be intense. Tatyana McFadden, a record-breaking 24-time World Marathon Major winner, is a formidable contender. However, McFadden faced strong competition from Scaroni and other American athletes in recent races, such as Chicago and New York City.

In the men’s category, Daniel Romanchuk, an eight-time major marathon winner, has consistently been the top American performer in major events, often being narrowly edged out by Swiss athlete Marcel Hug. Aaron Pike, a six-time Paralympian with a mix of Summer and Winter Games, has also demonstrated his potential. Evan Correll, aiming for his first Paralympic appearance, has been a strong competitor, although he is yet to meet the Paralympic qualifying standard time.

The New York City Marathon is known for its challenging course with significant elevation gain, making it a unique and demanding race on the marathon calendar. Athletes like Daniel Romanchuk and Evan Correll, who excel in climbing, could potentially shine in this prestigious event.

It’s important to note that more athletes may secure their spots on the U.S. Paralympic team during the track and field trials in July. However, the New York City Marathon holds a special place as the event that could determine the first athletes to represent the United States in the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games, adding an extra layer of excitement to this iconic race.

Reference:

https://www.nbcsports.com/olympics/news/new-york-city-marathon-susannah-scaroni-aaron-pike-paralympics

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