Marcel Hug successfully defends men’s T54 marathon title

TOKYO, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 05: Marcel Hug of Team Switzerland reacts after winning the gold medal in the men's Marathon - T54 on day 12 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at Olympic Stadium on September 05, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 05: Marcel Hug of Team Switzerland reacts after winning the gold medal in the men's Marathon - T54 on day 12 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at Olympic Stadium on September 05, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

"Silver Bullet" Marcel Hug retains marathon crown he won at Rio 2016 for fourth gold of Tokyo 2020 and 12th Paralympic medal overall.

Marcel Hug of Switzerland has successfully defended the men’s T54 marathon title that he won at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The Swiss wheelchair racer won the marathon in 1:24:02 to secure his fourth gold medal in four races at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

As well as the marathon, Hug won the Men’s 800m (T54), Men’s 1500m (T54) and Men’s 5000m (T54) in Tokyo.

But the marathon was anything but easy.

"I don’t know how to feel," said Hug on winning his fourth gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. "I’m just tired, empty."

"(It was) a really difficult race, because I had some trouble with my push-rim, the rubber came off. But I made it. I don’t know how, but I made it. It’s incredible."

Surely winning four golds is a significant moment in Hug's illustrious career?

"I really don’t know what it means to me at the moment," explained Hug. "I’ve never really had the chance to look back at what happened because I was already looking forward at the next competition.

"I hope at home I will have some time to really look back and realise what happened. For me and my career, it’s just amazing."

Hug and ZHANG Yong of People’s Republic of China were neck and neck for most of the race, but the Swiss racer pulled away from his rival with less than two kilometres to go.

Hug then raced into the Olympic Stadium and around the track to finish in a time of 1 hour, 24 minutes, 2 seconds.

Zhang crossed the finishing line 20 seconds later for the silver medal; Daniel Romanchuk of the USA raced home for the bronze.

The marathon gold takes Hug’s Paralympic medal collection to 12 – six gold, four silvers and two bronze, dating back to the Athens 2004 Games.

So is it time for Hug, who is nicknamed "Silver Bullet", to have new moniker and to replace his silver helmet with a golden one?

"No, I will not change," added Hug. "I prefer the silver one."

"I prefer to have silver on my head and gold around my neck."