Defending champions Tatyana McFadden and Marcel Hug will return to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2018, leading a talented professional wheelchair field.
Organizers announced the elite wheelchair field Tuesday, which includes eight-time Chicago Marathon champion and course record-holder McFadden and gold medalist and 2017 Chicago champion Hug.
In total, 22 Paralympians from 10 countries will be competing in the race.
“Tatyana McFadden and Marcel Hug have become legends in the sport of professional wheelchair racing, and we are excited to welcome both of them back to Chicago for another run at a championship title,” Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski said in a statement. “It has been incredible to watch the growth of the sport over the last decade, and to see new athletes joining the front of the pack. We have a very competitive field this year.”
McFadden made history from 2013 through 2016 as the only female athlete to win four Abbott World Marathon Major races in one year: London, Boston, Chicago and New York. She returns to Chicago as the most accomplished champion in Chicago Marathon history, looking to capture her eighth consecutive title and ninth in the last 10 years.
But she'll be hotly contest by rivals Manuela Schar, Amanda McGrory, Madison de Rozario and Susannah Scaroni. Schar finished second to McFadden from 2013 to 2016. McGrory broke that streak last year when she finished second to McFadden in a photo finish.
Hug, also known as the "silver bullet," dominated the crowded field during last year's race, but he'll have to once again face seven of the top 10 finishers. He'll be battling fellow gold medalist David Weir and Chicago's most decorated wheelchair athlete Kurt Fearnley.
Also competing in the men's field are Josh George, Daniel Romanchuk, Rafael Botello, Jordi Madera, Josh Cassidy, Ryota Yoshida, Hiroki Nishida and Simon Lawson.
Jenna Fesemyer, Katrina Gerhard, Arielle Rausin, Michelle Wheeler, Aline dos Santos Rocha and Margriet Van den Broek are also competing for a top finish in the women's field.
The 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon is set for Oct. 7.