Sunday 25 September 2016

Riga race ends Rio dream for McCambridge

Cathal Dennehy

Published 16/05/2016 | 02:30

Maria McCambridge slowed in the second half, eventually finishing seventh in 2:52:22 Photo: Sportsfile
Maria McCambridge slowed in the second half, eventually finishing seventh in 2:52:22 Photo: Sportsfile
Russian Sport Minister Vitaly Mutko: “Serious mistakes have been made by the federation management, along with athletes and coaches who have broken anti-doping rules and neglected the principle of fair play” Photo: Getty

Maria McCambridge saw the door close on her Olympic aspirations at the Riga Marathon yesterday morning. The 40-year-old passed halfway in 78 minutes - well on course to surpass the 2:37:29 mark of Belfast's Breege Connolly's which she was targeting - but McCambridge slowed considerably in the second half, eventually finishing seventh in 2:52:22.

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Elsewhere over the weekend, Dunboyne's Sara Treacy was in sparkling form at the British Milers Club meeting in Manchester, setting an Irish best in the 2000m steeplechase of 6:27.38. Treacy came home well clear of Letterkenny's Ann Marie McGlynn, who ran 6:42.51.

Long jumper Adam McMullen broke new ground in Clermont, Florida, setting a personal best of 7.84m in a competition which included three jumps beyond 7.8m. At the same meeting, Amy Foster impressed over 100m and threatened the Irish record of 11.4, running 11.42 and 11.4 in the same day, the latter time aided by an illegal wind reading of +2.4 m/s.

In Munich, Paul Byrne of St Abbans continued his preparations for July's European Championships by clocking 50.87 to finish second in the 400m hurdles.

At the Terenure five-mile yesterday, Raheny's Mick Clohisey was outsprinted by Dunboyne's Peter Somba, who edged it by one second in 23:33. The women's race was won by Borrisokane's Siobhán O'Doherty in 27:58.

Amy Rose Farrell was one of a number of record-breakers at the GloHealth Leinster Schools Championships in Santry on Saturday, running 9:55.6 in the intermediate girls' 3000m. Ryan Carthy Walsh set an intermediate boys' high jump record of 2.05m, while Sean Lawlor completed the sprint double at senior level, clocking 10.83 for 100m and 21.86 for 200m.

Newport's Sharlene Mawdsley was the star performer at the Tón Le Gaoithe meeting in Waterford, running 23.62 for 200m into a strong headwind, while at the Big East Championships in the US, Villanova's Harry Purcell and Síofra Cléirigh-Buttner scored victories over 400m and 800m respectively.

Russia 'very sorry' for doping errors

Russia has a "problem" with doping and is "very sorry" that its cheating athletes were not caught sooner, the country's sports minister said.

Russia, a track and field powerhouse, was suspended by the IAAF in November following a WADA panel report that found state-sponsored cheating.

"Serious mistakes have been made by the federation management, along with athletes and coaches who have broken anti-doping rules and neglected the principle of fair play," said Vitaly Mutko, writing in British newspaper The Sunday Times. "Let us be clear. We are ashamed of them."

"We are very sorry that athletes who tried to deceive us, and the world, were not caught sooner. We are very sorry because Russia is committed to upholding the highest standards in sport and is opposed to anything that threatens the Olympic values."

Mutko did not, however, admit any involvement in doping by the Russian government and recent allegations that test samples were switched at the Sochi Olympics.

Russia will discover on June 17 whether its athletics federation has met the reform criteria to return to competition in time for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Irish Independent

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