‘Bionic woman’ of London Marathon denied medal for triumph

14:45 08 May 2012

Claire Lomas, 32, crosses line PIC: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Claire Lomas, 32, crosses line PIC: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

A paralysed woman who has completed the London marathon wearing a bionic suit will be not allowed to collect a medal.

Paralysed Claire Lomas has traversed the 26 mile long course over 16 days in a suit which walks for her.

She completed her epic task at 12.50pm.

But because Claire did not cross the finish line on April 22 - the day on which the Marathon began, she is ineligible for a medal.

Hundreds of well-wishers lined streets to cheer her completing the event this lunchtime – the first person ever to do so in a bionic suit.

Three mounted members of the Household Cavalry gave her a guard of honour as she crossed the finishing line on The Mall.

Jewellery designer Ms Lomas, sobbed as she crossed the line: “I’m over the moon.

“There were times when I questioned whether I would make it when I was training.

“Once I started, I just took each day as it came and every step got me a step closer.”

A spokeswoman for the mounted regiment said the two riders were there to give Ms Lomas “extra support because she is passionate about horses”.

Mum of one Ms Lomas broke her neck, back and ribs and punctured a lung when her horse Rolled Oats threw her off as she took part in the Osberton Horse Trials in Nottinghamshire in 2007.

The £43,000 ReWalk suit, designed by Israeli entrepreneur Amit Goffer, enables people with lower-limb paralysis to stand, walk and climb stairs through motion sensors and an onboard computer system.

A shift in the wearer’s balance, indicating their desire to take, for example, a step forward, triggers the suit to mimic the response that the joints would have if they were not paralysed.

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