Ottawa – Athletics Canada announced today that wheelchair racers Alexandre Dupont and Brent Lakatos have been selected to represent Canada at the World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup taking place in London, England, on April 22. The annual event will see Dupont, Lakatos and the world’s best marathon para-athletes compete in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators, alongside participants in the Virgin Money London Marathon.
Still relatively new to Athletics Canada’s national team programming – 2018 will mark the second occasion in which Canada has fielded a team at the Marathon World Cup – the marathon gives para-athletes the opportunity to compete internationally and to challenge themselves at greater distances.
“Canada has a fairly distinguished past regarding our marathon competitors, with the likes of Clayton Gerein, Andre Viger and Diane Roy – all multiple major marathon winners – and more recently Josh Cassidy,” said Rick Reelie, Athletics Canada’s wheelchair coach and World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup team coach. “The addition of the World Cup to our national programming certainly adds a positive dimension, and gives athletes like Alex and Brent, two of Canada’s top marathoners, a new challenge off the track.”
A Paralympic and World medallist on the track, Dupont has been competing against some of the best road racers for a number of years. Last season, he set a new personal best (1:31:27), finishing 13th in the Chicago Marathon, and ended the year ranked first in Canada and 30th in the world.
“Over the past few seasons, Alex has been putting more emphasis on road racing to compliment his on track middle-distance events,” said Reelie. “With the Commonwealth Games taking place in Australia just one week earlier, he’ll have a very short turnaround time between events, but will arrive in London ready to compete.”
Lakatos, who on the track has shattered both the Canadian and World record books, made his marathon debut last fall when he competed in the Berlin Marathon. He finished the race in a time of 1:32:55, good for seventh place. Lakatos’ result left him ranked 33rd in the World and second in Canada at year’s end.
“Brent is arguably the best sprint athlete to come out of Canada. Over the past couple of quads, he’s been the best in the world,” said Reelie. “After making his marathon debut last year, Brent has made London, his current hometown, a major focus in his competition calendar. We expect him to follow-up his inaugural marathon with a solid performance in London.”
Alexandre Dupont, T54 (wheelchair) marathon
Hometown: Clarenceville, Que.
Club: Club d’Athlétisme Saint-Laurent Sélect
Coach: Rick Reelie
Brent Lakatos, T53 (wheelchair) marathon
Hometown: Dorval, Que.
Club: Parasports Quebec
Coach: Arno Mul
Position: Team coach