Athletics: Fionnuala McCormack inside Rio Olympics qualifying time

Fionnuala McCormack (née Britton) finished 13th in the Chicago marathon in 2:33:15 at the weekend to comfortably get inside the qualifying time (2:42) for the Olympic Games.

The two-time European Cross Country champion was on course for a sub 2:30 clocking for a large portion of the race but slowed in the second half. McCormack went through the first half in 75:09 and went through the second half in 78:06.

Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat, the world half marathon record holder, won in 2:23:33. McCormack is now the second fastest qualifier for Rio behind Lizzie Lee who ran a personal best of 2:32:51 in Berlin,

McCormack’s best time remains at 2:31:46 when she finished 10th at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich in 2014 – the fourth fastest on the Irish all-time list. Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers) also has an Olympic qualifier and Maria McCambridge (DSD) is set to run in Frankfurt on the 25th of October.

The Kilcoole athlete looks unlikely to race the cross country circuit but still may run in the European Cross Country Championships in France in December. The run in Chicago puts her in a strong place for Rio which would be her third Olympic Games. McCormack ran in the 3,000m steeplechase in Beijing in 2008 and did a 5,000m/10,000m distance double in London in 2012.


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