22 April 2014
South African wheelchair racing star Ernst van Dyk became the first person to win the Boston Marathon 10 times when he sped to victory on Monday.
Van Dyk already held the record for most victories in the Boston Marathon, having moved one ahead of American wheelchair racer Jean Driscoll when he won his ninth title in 2010.
Now 41, Van Dyk’s amazing run in the Boston Marathon, which began in 1897, has been achieved in only 15 appearances in the event. He has claimed victories from 2001 to 2006, from 2008 to 2010, and now again in 2014.
He dominated the race from the start, winning in 1:20:36. Only in 2004, when he set the former course record of 1:18:27, did he finish in a faster time.
Japan’s Kota Hokinoue claimed second, finishing 38 seconds behind Van Dyk.
It was a tough race, Van Dyk told the South African Broadcasting Corporation afterwards: “I could see them, but I knew if I could cross Heartbreak Hill [just after the 30-kilometre mark] first, the people in the last five miles were never going to catch me,” he said.
“It was really, really incredible.”
South African Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula took to Twitter to congratulate him, writing: “Congratulations! To Ernst Van Dyk for winning the wheelchair Boston marathon. Viva Van Dyk Viva!”
Golf legend Gary Player also praised Van Dyk, writing: “Incredible 10th victory in #BostonMarathon @ErnstvanDyk. Congratulations to a South African & @LaureusSport member. Respect #BostonStrong”
Long recognised as a giant in the world of disability sports, Van Dyk’s excellence was recognised by the Laureus World Sports Academy in 2006 when he was named the Laureus Sportsperson of the Year.