Moustapha Badid of France has been described as the most powerful wheelchair racer in the world. He lived up to that accolade Sunday at the Los Angeles Marathon.
Badid, 24, moved ahead of the field at the start and kept pulling away, winning in 1 hour 45 minutes 40 seconds--almost seven minutes ahead of the second-place finisher, Canada's Andre Viger.
Ann Cody-Morris of Urbana, Ill., was the women's winner in 2:03.50. Candace Cable-Brooks, a four-time winner here, did not enter this year's race.
Badid, an Algerian who lives in St. Denis, France, near Paris, has been disabled since birth.
A former world record-holder as a wheelchair racer, Badid has been the guest in Los Angeles of Jim Knaub, who won the race last year.
Badid said that he and Knaub started out together, but that Knaub had to drop out after about a half mile. Knaub is suffering from a rib injury.
Badid won the wheelchair division of the Boston Marathon in 1988. Comparing the Boston course to Sunday's, Badid said, "The road is much rougher here and the hills are just as difficult."
Bob Molinatti, the wheelchair division coordinator and two-time winner of the race, said there were 106 entries, a record for such a competition in the United States.