Fionnuala McCormack is first Irishwoman to qualify for five Olympics

Fionnuala McCormack is first Irishwoman to qualify for five Olympics
Grace Fisher
Grace Fisher

Fionnuala McCormack became the first Irishwoman to qualify for five Olympic Games after running inside the qualifying time in the Valencia Marathon on Sunday.

McCormack's time of 2:26.19 was more than 30 seconds inside the 2:26.50 necessary to qualify for Paris and she finished in 34th place.

The 39-year-old Wicklow native competed in the 3000m at Beijing 2008, the 5000m and 10000m at London 2012, and the marathon at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

She gave birth to her third child only five months ago, and was open about focusing on achieving the qualifying time in Valencia — nearly three minutes faster than the requirement for Tokyo — rather than aiming for a personal best.

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Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia won with a time of 2:15.51. The top 40 women all ran under 2:28.

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McCormack, Sonia O'Sullivan, and Olive Loughnane are the only Irishwomen to have competed in four Olympics.

 

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