Third place but no medal for Shelly Oxley-Woods in Commonwealth Games marathon

Blackpool's Shelly Oxley-Woods finished third in the women's wheelchair marathon at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham but missed out on a medal.

By Andy Moore
Saturday, 30th July 2022, 11:00 am
Updated Sunday, 31st July 2022, 5:29 pm

That's because just four athletes competed – two from England and two from Australia – and so only the first two finishers receive medals under the rules of the Games.

The race was dominated by the Australian Maddy de Rozario, the Paralympic champion who defended the Commonwealth title she won on home soil in 2018.

The three-time world champion triumphed in Birmingham in 1hr, 56mins exactly.

Shelly Oxley-Woods in the marathon at the Commonwealth Games

The other medal went England's Eden Rainbow-Cooper, from Portsmouth, in a personal best time of 1.59.45.

Oxley-Woods took third spot in 2.04.39, with the Australian Christie Dawes fourth in 2.07.02.

Triple Paralympic medalist Oxley-Woods told The Gazette in advance of the race that the course designed especially for these Games was “technical and challenging”.

This was certainly the case, with some gruelling climbs as the racers proceeded to the city centre finish outside the town hall.

Commentating for the BBC, Paralympic great Tanni Grey-Thompson described it as “one of the toughest Commonwealth Games courses I have seen”.

England's Johnboy Smith, who won the men's wheelchair race, joked that he would like the sue the course designer.

Smith won in 1.41.15, more than four and a half minutes clear of Scotland's silver medallist Sean Frame, but said the gold medal should have gone to his England teammate David Weir, who suffered a puncture while leading but battled back to finish seventh.

The toughness of the course certainly took its toll on the racers’ times, resulting in delayed starts for the both the men’s and women’s marathons which followed

It was 36-year-old Oxley-Woods' first marathon since Boston in April, a course with more straight sections that the twisting Birmingham course.

She had previously contested the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow eight years ago but missed the Gold Coast event in 2018 during her three-year break from competition to raise son Leo.

The Blackpool Wyre and Fylde athlete was delighted to compete in Birmingham, having missed out on a third Paralympics in Tokyo last year.