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November 7, 2021

Madison de Rozario

Marcel Hug

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Winning the women's division with a time of 1:51:01, the first Australian to win this division in the history, the 20-year history of the wheelchair division here at the TCS New York City Marathon, from Australia, Madison de Rozario, the Olympic gold medalist and now TCS New York City Marathon champion.

And the men's winner, no stranger to this stage, with a time of 1:31:24 from Switzerland, Marcel Hug.

I want to start with you, Madison. After the Tokyo games, there were a lot of races, but you hung in, maybe got a little rest. Did that play into today's win?

MADISON DE ROZARIO: I think that definitely played into it, but that wasn't intentional. I was planning on racing Berlin, London, and Chicago, much like Tatyana and Manuela did. But with Australia's border restrictions, I wasn't actually able to get back into the country if I left, which is why I ended up not doing it.

I didn't think I would be able to come and race in New York either, but our border opened November 1st. So very last minute, I was able to say yes.

THE MODERATOR: You made a move at mile 20. Were you feeling good, or did you know you needed to go early to break someone like Tatyana?

MADISON DE ROZARIO: A bit of both. I was feeling pretty good. I managed to create a little gap coming down off the bridge and I think just tried to hold it.

I definitely didn't want it to turn into a sprint finish. I think Tatyana and Manuela are both so formidable when it comes down to a race like that. So I definitely wanted to avoid it. So, yeah, when I saw there was a bit of a gap, I just kind of beared down and tried to hold it.

THE MODERATOR: Marcel, you didn't just win, you dominated. A nearly seven-minute victory for the final race of the Abbott World Marathon Major series and a victory in that series. Did you want to make a statement today?

MARCEL HUG: It's incredible. Really, really happy, very satisfied with my performance today. Yeah, it's incredible to have this big gap. I never expected it. It's a very tough course with many uphills. So I was expecting to have a group together, maybe two, three at least together.

I had a chance to break away very early, so I took the chance and tried to keep up my pace.

THE MODERATOR: Similar scenario to what you faced in Boston. That had to have been good practice to be out here alone in your head today.

MARCEL HUG: Yeah, it was just great being out there, going through the boroughs. Yeah, the crowd and the music was just giving me an extra boost.

Q. Marcel, congratulations. It's been a very dominant season for you, a very tiring season, I'm sure as well. What do you put your success down to? Starting with the Paralympics and going right through to this marathon season.

MARCEL HUG: I think there are many factors for me. Of course, it began with the Paralympics, which were just great races. So I got a lot of confidence there.

Another factor is my good shape. Yeah, it feels great.

Another one is definitely the new racing wheelchair, which feels great to push, really enjoy it.

So I think these three factors -- the confidence, the material, and my shape -- fit together and makes a difference.

Q. Hello, Madison. Congratulations. Can you contrast for us the difference in the feeling between winning at the Paralympics and winning here in New York?

MADISON DE ROZARIO: Oh, they -- you couldn't compare them. I think it's the same field out here as it was in Tokyo, so it's definitely intimidating lining up for that race. In Tokyo there was such a big group of us going into that stadium together. Due to it being like a very flat course, you couldn't shake anyone in Tokyo.

I think the feeling was very different. In Tokyo it was a bit of a panicked sprint to the finish line. The last 500 meters of that marathon was like the longest 500 of my life. Whereas here to kind of create a bit of a gap early and just hold it was definitely much nicer.

Also, I've never won a marathon like that before, and I didn't realize how stressful it is to be out in front like that because you don't know how close the next athlete is. Like I said before, Tatyana and Manuela are both such middle athletes, you're kind of like waiting for that gap to close. So it's definitely a different feeling being chased down like that.

Q. Madison, how much confidence did this give you going into the next series of marathon majors now? You beat the best of them in the Paralympics. You beat the best of them here in New York. What can you achieve going forward on the marathon?

MADISON DE ROZARIO: It definitely feels like the next chapter in my career. I think I've been trying to become stronger with that marathon distance for quite a long time now. When everything was postponed, we kind of had two years to drop back into base training.

Obviously, the postponement was stressful and emotional for a million different reasons, but physically it was quite -- we were able to make huge advances in what we were doing training-wise.

It was a little bit intense going into the games because I think every single one of us did that. We definitely capitalized on that two years at home. I'm really happy that it worked out really well. Definitely a lot more confidence going further, and I'm loving the marathon, and that's where I think most of my attention will be going.

THE MODERATOR: Marcel, the schedule is not usually this compact -- Olympics, Boston, New York. How did that change your training to have all those marathons so close together in a matter of months?

MARCEL HUG: Yeah, it's definitely a crazy season, crazy fall. To be honest, it's the toughest season I had so far with all these competitions so very close together.

It's difficult to prepare, but I think the most important thing between these marathons is to recover. There's not much training to become better, just recover from one marathon to the other and prepare.

Q. Hi, Marcel. Congratulations again. You won the overall series. What does this mean for you? Is this for you the first time that you're No. 1? And what does it mean?

MARCEL HUG: It means really a lot to me. I think -- I'm not sure, but I think it's the third one I won the series. This one is really special because in the beginning of the series I was second or third place, I don't know. But Daniel Romanchuk was quite ahead.

But from the Paralympics marathon, which also counts to the series, from this win everything changed. The gap came closer and closer, and then the last marathon in Boston, I overtook Daniel. So, yeah, it was quite interesting also to have this big showdown here in New York because everything was still open, possibly Daniel was still able to win. Yeah, it means really a lot to me.

THE MODERATOR: Madison, I know this was your first time here. How did you prepare for this course? It's very different than what you saw in Tokyo and some other courses you raced. Not a lot of rhythm. How did you get ready for it?

MADISON DE ROZARIO: I have raced this course before, and it's definitely, I think, the hardest one on the circuit. I was definitely intimidated coming into it. We've done a lot of work on that kind of strength component of the training, which definitely complements this course, the climbing hills. It's obviously a big defining factor in how this race runs.

It's never been a strong point of mine. I've never been very consistent on those uphills. It's something that in that two years we put a lot of focus on, was trying to close that gap. So to kind of have it all come together here is really nice.

THE MODERATOR: Marcel, you've had so much success here. What does this race mean to you?

MARCEL HUG: It means a lot. First of all, it's great to be back here. To win the New York Marathon is something really special because the atmosphere is just great. It's one of the toughest marathons because of all the uphills, the bridges, especially to go through the five boroughs, going into Manhattan.

Yeah, I really like the New York Marathon. Every time it's special to win here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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