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Rio 2016 Athletics Ireland Day 3 Report

Rio Olympics - Athletics Ireland Day 3 Report

Rio de Janeiro, Sunday August 14th 2016
Irish Rio Olympics Womens Marathon Team min

Athletics Ireland report by Feidhlim Kelly

McCormack Excellent 20th in Olympic Marathon

Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole) finished an excellent 20th place in the women’s marathon in a personal best of 2:31:22 in searing heat at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (August 14).

The Wicklow woman was backed up ably by Lizzie Lee (Leevale) 57th in 2:39:57 and Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers) 76th in 2:44:41.

This was Fionnuala McCormack’s third Olympic Games (3,000m steeplechase in Beijing 2008; 5,000m/10,000m in London 2012) and one which she believes is her best yet.

“It was tough but it was nice to be top 20 and I think it’s my best Olympics to date,” said McCormack. “Maybe I’m just lucky,” she continued with regards her ability to perform well in hot conditions. “It doesn’t phase me before the start. I know I can actually run in it.”

McCormack finished an excellent 14th at the World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa in 2007 and 16th in Punta Umbria in 2011 – both hot and testing conditions.

This was the Kilcoole athlete’s third marathon and her second in a championship – something which she prefers to the major marathon road circuit.  

“I like the championships,” she said “It’s racing rather than time trialling. I love running for my country. I think it was a very good course.” McCormack made her marathon debut at the European Championships in Zurich finishing 10th in 2:31:46 – her previous best time before today.

Irish Runner Video

Lizzie Lee was delighted with her top 60 position in brutal conditions. “I’m absolutely delighted,” she affirmed. “Sub 2:40 was the plan. It was so tough in the closing stages. We all felt it tough out there. It’s so hot out there. I’m an Olympian and no one can take that away from me.”

Leitrim’s Breege Connolly was equally delighted with her performance and was vastly ahead of her ranking in going into the race which had 158 competitors.

“It’s been the best running week of my life,” said Connolly afterwards who was pleased her hard work building up to the event paid off. “It was tough and I went to Monte Gordo (in Portugal) warm weather training. Nothing can prepare you properly for racing in the heat but I’m delighted with my run. It’s a relief after all the hard work.”

IAAF Marathon Report


Ciara Mageean Rio Olympic Semi 2016 min

Mageean’s Olympic Dream Comes to an End

Ciara Mageean’s (UCD) brave bid to become Ireland’s first female Olympic 1500m Finalist ended with an 11th place finish in the first semi-final in 4:08.07.

“I’m very disappointed,” said Mageean afterwards in a race won by one of the medal-favourites Faith Kipyegon in 4:03.95. The first five in each semi-final and the two next fastest non-automatic qualifiers advanced to the final.

“My preparation went really well and I’m upset I couldn’t deliver an Irish 1500m finalist. I got up in the qualifying positions and I was there with 200m to go but I just didn’t have the finish.

“I promise I’ll be back fitter, stonger and faster next year. These girls have three or four years of excellent running behind them. I’m disappointed but I will be back.”

It has been an excellent season for the Down woman who won European bronze in Amsterdam in July and has a platform to build on into next season. 

Athletics Timetables, including Irish Athletes event times

Sunday, August 14th, 13:30  - Rio Olympics - Athletics Day 3

Monday, August 15th, 13:30  - Rio Olympics - Athletics Day 4

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Cork Athletics County Board is a constituent member of Athletics Ireland. Cork Athletics is the governing body, administering athletics, track and field (T&F), cross-country (XC) and running in county Cork. The Board comprises elected representatives of constituent athletic clubs and running clubs. Cork County Board AAI organises Championship races and competition, including road, track & field (T&F) and Cross-country (XC), at junior, juvenile, senior and masters levels, and selects representation for the county. In addition, training and education is provided for coaches and officials. The Board also regulates the Athletics Ireland race/event permit (licence) process for county Cork.
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