Thursday 17 October 2019

McCormack keeps Tokyo in sights after marathon PB

Athletics

Fionnuala McCormack. Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Fionnuala McCormack. Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Cathal Dennehy

Fionnuala McCormack took a huge step forward on the road to the Tokyo Olympics with an excellent 11th-place finish at the Boston Marathon yesterday, her time of 2:30.38 carving 44 seconds off her lifetime best.

McCormack fell just six seconds shy of a top-10 finish, the result she had been craving given it would have meant automatic qualification for the 2020 Games. The race came just six months after McCormack gave birth to her daughter Isla and was her first marathon since the Rio Olympics in 2016.

While she came up just shy of Olympic qualification, her time, coupled with the bonus points she received for 11th place, will slingshot her up the world rankings, introduced this year as an additional qualifying method.

If McCormack can post one decent half-marathon or marathon result in the next 14 months or run below the time standard of 2:29:30, she will secure a spot at her fourth successive Games.

Just over a fortnight ago she finished a superb 18th in the World Cross-Country in Denmark, and when it comes to the marathon her best days look to be ahead. Ethiopia's Worknesh Degefa took the women's title yesterday in 2:23.31, with Kenya's Lawrence Cherono winning the men's race in 2:07.57.

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