London Marathon: Wheelchair crash safety plea

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CANADIAN wheelchair racer Josh Cassidy hit out at the organisers of the Virgin London Marathon after seeing his race ruined by a collision at a drinks station.

Cassidy was left fuming at marshals after he collided with Tiki Gelana as the wheelchair racers passed the able-bodied elite women.

He warned organisers that there was a risk of an athlete suffering serious injury if the wheelchair racers did not start getting under way first.

Gelana, the Olympic champion, cut inside to reach the drink stop, but hit Cassidy as he came up the inside and fell heavily. Both athletes were able to rejoin the race, but the incident put paid to their hopes of success.

Cassidy said: “It’s something I have mentioned before. Every year we come to overtake the women, there’s ten chairs going at 20mph and the poor women are scrambling to find their feet.

“I’ve had a brand new 2,000 dollars pair of wheels damaged, who’s going to pay for them? The safest thing would be to have the chairs start first because one of these years a woman is going to have a leg broken.

David Weir’s bid for a record seventh title ended in disappointment as he came home fifth. Weir had no answer to his rivals’ power off the final turn as Australia’s Kurt Fearnley claimed victory. Weir came home in one hour 31 minutes 31 seconds, two seconds adrift of Fearnley.

American Tatyana McFadden won the women’s race, six days after winning the Boston Marathon. She set a new course record with an unofficial time of 1hr 46mins 02secs to edge out compatriot Amanda McGrory. Great Britain’s Shelly Woods, the defending champion, finished fifth.