The 2019 Dubai Marathon continues to announce additions to their always fine fields. Marcel Hug, one of the finest wheelchair racers on the planet, will defend his title on January 25, 2019. This is the feature on Marcel Hug, prior to his appearance in Dubai for the 2019 race.
‘SILVER BULLET’ HUG TO DEFEND STANDARD CHARTERED DUBAI MARATHON TITLE
Dubai (UAE): Switzerland’s nine-time world champion Marcel Hug has confirmed he will be out to defend his title when the 20th anniversary of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon gets underway on January 25.
Hug, a double Paralympic gold medalist and one of the world’s greatest athletes, returns to Dubai 12 months after winning the 2018 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon in a course record 1h:25m:14s and will start as the hot favourite to add another title to what is a hugely-impressive CV.
As well as winning on his debut at the Middle East’s only IAAF Gold Label-certified Marathon, Hug has also enjoyed success at the world’s other top long distance events. Last year he won the Boston Marathon for a fourth time to add to victories at the New York Marathon (2013, 2016 and 2017), the Berlin Marathon (2011 and 2012) and the London Marathon (2014 and 2016).
Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and staged under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the 2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will see the 20th staging of the event and marks a welcome return for Hug who has also enjoyed a stellar year in 2018 to follow on from his World Championship successes in London in 2017.
As well as winning three golds (800m, 1500m and 5000m) at the World Para Athletics European Championships in Berlin, he was also honoured earlier in the year as the World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability at the Laureus World Sports Award in Monaco.
The accolade is given to the person who best demonstrates excellent athletic achievement and strong leadership qualities in a sport in the Paralympic programme with the 33 year-old a well-deserved recipient as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy.
“We were all delighted to see the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon champion honoured in this way as the award recognises not only Marcel’s incredible racing achievement but also the inspiration and leadership he shows to others,” said Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon Event Director Peter Connerton.
Four years ago, Hug and long-standing coach Paul Odermatt established the “Silver Bullet” training camp at his home track in Nottwil in Switzerland. From juniors to elite level, young up-and-coming racers regularly go under the watchful eye of the six-time European champion, who believes the new wave of athletes coming through are not lacking in talent.
“We have many good young athletes although unfortunately, not many from Switzerland that could follow me right now,” said Hug, who trains for 30 hours a week. “We’ve had people coming from as far as Argentina. It’s a good opportunity to train together with other athletes in terms of event preparation.”
Athletes looking to register can still do so by visiting the official website www.dubaimarathon.org. In addition to Standard Chartered, the Dubai Marathon is supported by the Dubai Sports Council, adidas, Dubai Eye 103.8FM, Aquafina and Gatorade, Dubai Holding, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police and the RTA.