Clohisey moves into Rio marathon contention
Published 22/02/2016 | 02:30
The battle to represent Ireland in the Olympic marathon in Rio next August has dramatically intensified in the wake of yesterday's Seville Marathon.
Raheny Shamrock's Mick Clohisey sliced 25 seconds off his personal best when finishing tenth in 2:15.10, which now means he is the second fastest Irish male qualifier for Rio.
Leading the pack is Kevin Seaward on 2:14.52 but Clohisey's run has seen him overtake Sergiu Ciobanu (2:15.14).
Ciobanu, who has indicated that he doesn't plan to run a spring marathon, is now third in the rankings, with Paul Pollock fourth in 2:15.38.
Five other marathoners - Martin Fagan, Gary Thornton, Thomas Frazier, Sean Hehir and Eoin Callaghan - have run under the 2.19 standard.
With the exception of Fagan - who has retired - the other four look sure to try and improve their time and get into the top three before the June cut-off date. Seward and Pollock have indicated that they plan to pace each other in the London Marathon.
Meanwhile, Gladys Ganiel (2:38.53) and Barbara Sanchez (2:39.49) both comfortably ran inside the Olympic ladies' standards of 2:45.00 in Seville, but failed to make it into the Irish top three, held by Lizzie Lee (2:32.51), Fionnuala McCormack -formerly Britton - (2:33.15) and Breege Connolly (2:37.29).
At the Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden, New York on Saturday night, Ciara Mageean continued her excellent spring form when she set a new Irish women's mile indoor record of 4:28.40 when finishing sixth in the Wannamaker Mile.
She sliced 1.66 seconds of the previous record set by Roisin McGettigan in 2009. Two weeks ago Mageean set a new Irish 1500m indoor record.
Elsewhere yesterday, Mark English rounded off his indoor season in style with a second-place finish over 800m at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix, the UCD student finishing second in 1:46.99 behind world silver medallist Adam Kszczot of Poland.
English positioned himself towards the front of the field through the first half of the race, passing 400m in 52 seconds, but had to overtake both Erik Sowinski of the United States and Timothy Kitum of Kenya in the home straight to take second place behind Kszczot, who was a clear winner in 1:46.23.
English's time of 1:46.99 was a season's best, though marginally outside his Irish indoor record of 1:46.82, and capped a good week for the 22-year-old, who took victory over 500m at the Globen Galan meeting in Stockholm on Wednesday night.
Also in action in Glasgow was Carrick on Shannon's Gerard O'Donnell, who ran 8.04 to finish seventh in the heats of the 60m hurdles.