Zanardi Wins Class At New York Marathon

Zanardi won a tight race with Rafal Wilk, edging the Pole by just two seconds

From great tragedy is coming great triumph for one former CART IndyCar race car driver.

Italy's 45-year old Alessandro Zanardi won the New York City Marathon's handcycle division Sunday with a time of 1 hour, 13 minutes and 58 seconds, topping a field of 93 participants.

Zanardi made his handcycle racing debut in the 2007 New York city marathon, placing fourth after only four weeks of training.

Since that debut, he's also won the 2009 Venice Marathon and 2010 Rome Marathon. His goal is to compete in the 2012 Summer Paralympics for his native Italy.

Before his handcycling career, Zanardi was best known as a race car driver, competing in Formula One and CART. Ten years ago, he lost both of his legs in a horrific oval track IndyCar racing accident at the Eurospeedway in eastern Germany that ended his open-wheel racing career.

"My 'mission' for this season was to accumulate points to qualify for the Paralympic Games of London 2012," Zanardi wrote on his website, and with two wins prior to claiming the victory on the streets of New York, Zanardi appears to be well on his way to earning his invitation for London next year.

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