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Shelly Woods takes second in New York

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Shelly Woods
Britain’s Shelly Woods rounded off her 2006 season with an impressive second place in the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday 5 November.
 
The 20-year-old Blackpool wheelchair racer lost out to US athlete Amanda McGrory by just two seconds in a sprint finish at the end of a fast 26-mile race.
 
Woods and McGrory got away from a pack that included many of the world’s top women wheelchair racers after around 30km. Woods – bronze medallist in the T54 marathon at the Assen 2006 IPC World Championships - forged ahead going into the final straight, but McGrory went past her in the last 40m to claim victory.
 
But Woods said she was pleased with her second place finish – one place higher than she achieved on her New Marathon debut last year. Woods’ time of 1:54.19 was also more than two and a half minutes faster than in last year’s New York City Marathon.
 
“My aim was to do better than last year, so I’m pleased,” said Woods, who is supported by Lottery funding through UK Athletics’ World Class Podium programme.
 
“It was a very fast race and I could have done without it going down to a sprint finish,” she added. “I tried to break away a few times, but they kept coming back at me.
 
“It was a pretty tough race and it was a bit too close for comfort at the end,” she said. “It was an incredibly close finish.”
 
McGrory won in 1:54.17, with Canada’s Diane Roy – gold medallist in the T54 marathon at the IPC World Championships in Assen in September – finishing third in 1:54.38.
 
Canada’s Chantal Petitclerc came fourth in 1:56.16, with Switzerland’s Sandra Graf fifth in 1:56.29.
 
Kenny Herriot was Britain’s highest placed finisher in the men’s wheelchair race. He crossed the line in 16th place in 1:53.14. Australia’s Kurt Fearnley, reigning T54 marathon World champion, won the men’s race in 1:29.22.