Jennings performance gives Irish selectors a nice dilemma15/04/2012 - 19:00:14
Ireland’s Olympic selectors have been given a marathon headache, as a fourth athlete has made the qualifying mark for the women’s marathon at London 2012.
Catriona Jennings of Rathfarnham AC crept inside the Olympic A standard of 2 hours, 37 minutes by clocking 2:36:14 in this afternoon’s Rotterdam Marathon.
With three places available per nation in the Olympic 26-miler, Jennings has now joined Maria McCambridge of Letterkenny AC, and Dundrum South Dublin pair Linda Byrne and Ava Hutchinson in surpassing the all-important Olympic A qualifying mark.
The times achieved to date are: Hutchinson 2:35:33, Jennings 2:36:14, Byrne 2:36:23, McCambridge 2:36:37 - and marks the first time four Irish women have beaten the Olympic A standard for the marathon.
But only a maximum of three can compete in London.
Sean Connolly is getting closer in his attempts to reach the men’s mark of 2 hours 15 minutes, recording 2:16:40 in the men’s race in Rotterdam, where Ethiopian athletes won both races.
Yemane Adhane was first past the line in 2 hours, 4 minutes and 48 seconds, edging past compatriot Getu Feleke in the final mile.
Tiki Gelana won the women’s race in 2:18:58 – the fastest time in the world this year and a new course record, despite the windy conditions.
Elsewhere, Robert Heffernan finished fourth in the men’s 20k at the Greater Rio International Race Walking Grand Prix in Portugal – his best ever performance at a race walking grand prix, finishing 14 seconds off the podium in a time of 1:21:28.
Joanne Cuddihy won the 400m at the Australian National Championships in 51.69 seconds – an agonising 0.14 seconds away from the Olympic A standard.
And a new Irish junior hammer record has been set today, by Finn Valley’s Dempsey McGuigan, recording an effort of 69.68m in England, leaving him 23 centimetres away from qualifying for July’s World Junior Athletics Championships in Barcelona.
Irish Olympic ‘A’ qualifying standard – Athletics:
Paul Hession - men's 200m
Ciarán O'Lionaird - men's 1500m
Alistair Cragg - men's 5000m
Mark Kenneally - men's marathon
Robert Heffernan - men's 20k and 50k walk
Brendan Boyce - men's 50k walk
Derval O'Rourke - women's 100m hurdles
Fionnuala Britton - women's 3000m steeplechase
Stephanie Reilly - women's 3000m steeplechase
Deirdre Ryan - Women's high jump
Tori Pena - women's pole vault
Olive Loughnane - Women's 20k walk
Maria McCambridge – women’s marathon
Linda Byrne - women's marathon
Ava Hutchinson - women's marathon