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Van Dyk takes sixth spot in Chicago Marathon
- Updated: October 10, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
South Africa’s Ernst van Dyk took sixth spot in Sunday’s Chicago Marathon which saw one of the closest finishes yet in wheelchair marathon racing.
So hotly contested was the finish between Marcel Hug and defending champion Kurt Fearnley that there had to be an official review of the photo finish (check out the tight finish above).
‘It was a crazy finish,” Switzerland’s Hug said. “I never [had] that close finish ever. It was so close.’
Van Dyk who won silver in last month’s Berlin Marathon in Germany, clocked 1hr 33min 02sec, five seconds behind Hug.
At last month’s Paralympics, Van Dyk was also sixth in the men’s road race, staged in searing 38 degree temperatures. Earlier in the Games he’d won gold in the handcycling road race.
Good news for Van Dyk was that his thumbs seem to have recovered after the pounding they took in Rio as his hands expanded inside his gloves due to the extreme heat.
He was still taking strain at Berlin but he’s moved on from there.
‘Today the thumbs were fine. I had a good race but simply did not have anything left for the kick at the end,’ he said from the United States.
‘When we hit the final bridge I was in third place, feeling good, but just ran out of steam and couldn’t pick it up to challenge for the sprint.’
Van Dyk went on to say the conditions may have had something to do with his lack of a finishing effort. ‘It was windy today so I think I might have spent too much time at the front without realising that it was zapping my energy a bit much.’
Picture of Hug and Fearnley finishing on Sunday courtesy of Getty Images