UPDATE: Results from the 2012 Olympic women’s marathon – Linda Byrne finished in 2:37:13 for 66th place, with Ava Hutchinson right by her in 2:37:17 for 68th place. Sadly, Caitriona Jennings had a bad day – hampered by a foot injury but showing admirable determination to stay on the road and come home in 3:22:11, almost an hour behind the winner and the last of the 107 finishers.
The race was won by Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia in 2:23:07.
Hard luck to Maria McCambridge. The selection drama for the Irish women’s Olympic marathon team was brought to an end today by an Athletics Ireland selection meeting and subsequent statement, and the Letterkenny club runner is the unfortunate one of the four qualifiers who misses out.
The other three women who made the Olympic A standard – Ava Hutchinson, Caitriona Jennings and national champion Linda Byrne – will now go forward to represent Ireland in London this summer. Adding to the drama is that the four women are training partners and good friends.
Byrne, Hutchinson and Jennings had run faster qualifying times than McCambridge, although this was not an express criteria to make the team. (The rather imprecise criteria set out by Athletics Ireland had added to the drama of selection.) Indeed, as the only former Olympian of the four, McCambridge may be considered unlucky that her championship experience didn’t swing the deliberations in her favour.
The Athletics Ireland statement did not say whether McCambridge is now considered an official reserve in case of injury or unavailability of the other three.
Let us commiserate Maria McCambridge on what must be desperately disappointing news for her, but also encourage our confirmed Irish Olympic women’s marathon team to great things on the streets of London.