Sunday 20 October 2019

Scullion relishes marathon heat after training Stateside

Stephen Scullion of Ireland competing in the Men's Marathon during day nine of the 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Stephen Scullion of Ireland competing in the Men's Marathon during day nine of the 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Cathal Dennehy

Few athletes in Doha were actively wishing for the weather conditions to take a turn for the worse, but Ireland's sole marathon representative was one of them.

Stephen Scullion came into the race primed to handle high heat and humidity.

Having spent time training in Louisiana in recent months he was more ready than most.

But in the world championships marathon, which set off just before midnight on Saturday night, his conservative plan didn't quite come off, Scullion finishing 43rd in 2:21.31.

"I took a gamble that a lot of the field would suffer and come back and some did," said Scullion.

"Maybe I needed conditions to be harder. But it's still a step in the right direction, it's still my first World champs. I was ranked 48th, I came 43rd. I'm not going to walk away and say it was good but I won't say it was bad."

Elsewhere, Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot led from the front to win the men's 1500 metres, going one better than his silver medal in the event two years ago and winning in 3:29.26 yesterday.

The 23-year-old had a huge lead at the bell and the pack never really looked like catching him around the final lap as he strode home to win.

Nia Ali, back in the starting blocks after giving birth to her second child, powered to victory in the world championships 100 metres hurdles, leading an American one-two finish.

Great Britain, meanwhile, suffered their worst World Championships since 2005 after falling short of their medal target. The squad finished with five medals - including Dina Asher-Smith's hat-trick haul - after the end of competition in Qatar last night.

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