Maria McCambridge has become the 15th athlete to qualify for the Irish Track and Field team for this year’s Olympic Games in London.
The Letterkenny AC athlete beat the necessary Olympic A standard of 2:37:00 by 23 seconds, clocking 2:36:37 to finish ninth in the Rome Marathon this morning.
Having reached the halfway mark in 1:17:37, the 36-year-old joins Dundrum South Dublin pair Linda Byrne and Ava Hutchinson in the Olympic marathon – the first time ever Ireland will have sent three women to this event at a single Games.
Carey May and Regina Joyce flew the flag in Los Angeles in 1984, while Marie Rollins-Murphy and Ailish Smith wore the green singlet at the next Games in Seoul in 1988.
Ireland has sent a three-man team to an Olympic marathon six times, including when John Treacy won silver in LA 28 years ago.
Meanwhile, world youth champion Kate Veale of West Waterford AC won the junior race at the prestigious Lugano Racewalking Grand Prix in Switzerland.
Veale dominated over the 10k course from start to finish, winning in a time of 47 minutes, 1 second – almost three minutes clear of her closest rival Mellado Coralie of France, who came home in 49:55.
Emma Prendiville from Farranfore Maine Valley AC finished fourth in the same race in 51:32. James Treanor of Shercock AC was fifth in the junior men’s 10k race, clocking 45:08.
European Championships fourth-placer Robert Heffernan came close to breaking his own 20k Irish record by finishing sixth in the men’s race in a time of 1:20:39 – 77 seconds shy of his national mark.
World Championships silver-medallist Olive Loughnane finished tenth in the senior women’s 20k in 1:32:26.
World Youth Gold Medallist Kate Veale (West Waterford AC) won the junior women’s race over the 10k distance in a time of 47.01. Veale dominated the race finishing almost three minutes clear of her closest rival Mellado Coralie of France 49:55.
Emma Prendiville (Farranfore Maine Valley AC) finished fourth in the same race in 51:32. James Treanor (Shercock AC) competed in the junior men’s 10k race, finishing fifth in a time of 45:08.
IRISH OLYMPIC QUALIFIERS – ATHLETICS
Paul Hession - men's 200m
Ciarán O'Lionaird - men's 1500m
Alistair Cragg - men's 5000m
Mark Kenneally - men's marathon
Robert Heffernan - men's 20k and 50k walk
Brendan Boyce - men's 50k walk
Derval O'Rourke - women's 100m hurdles
Fionnuala Britton - women's 3000m steeplechase
Stephanie Reilly - women's 3000m steeplechase
Deirdre Ryan - Women's high jump
Tori Pena - women's pole vault
Olive Loughnane - Women's 20k walk
Maria McCambridge – women’s marathon
Linda Byrne - women's marathon
Ava Hutchinson - women's marathon