McCambridge won’t be appealing marathon omission

Maria McCambridge will not appeal the decision which yesterday destroyed her Olympic marathon dream.

McCambridge, was one of four athletes who secured the A standard but only three places were available for the London Games.

Yesterday, Athletics Ireland nominated Linda Byrne (DSD) who ran 2:36:21 in Dublin last October, her clubmate, Ava Hutchinson, who returned 2:35:33 in Houston in January, and Caitriona Jennings (Rathfarnham AC), who ran 2.36.14 in Rotterdam last month.

McCambridge posted 2:36:37 on the cobblestones in Rome and admitted yesterday that decision cost her dearly. She said: “I found Rome very difficult with the cobbles. I know I had better than that in me. Unfortunately I went there and now I have to live with that. I thought I had done enough but obviously they (the selectors) did not agree.”

The Athletics Ireland nominations policy allows a 24 hour window for appeal before the nominations will be lodged with the Olympic Council of Ireland but McCambridge said yesterday that she was waiving that right and is unlikely to chase qualification at 10,000m which she had considered as an option prior to achieving the ‘A’ standard.

“I’m loving the road and I’m loving the marathon — it’s what has kept me going for the past four years. I’ll still be going out for my run this evening.”

Athletics Ireland Director of High Performance, Kevin Ankrom explained their stance. “There is a nomination policy there and we went through the process of looking at each girl and making sure she met with the criteria. As a group of selectors this is what we came up with. It was a good decision and a lot of thought went into the nomination process. We were very fortunate to have four girls who competed and performed at a high level. If that happened in every event we would be happy but this was not a win-win situation because someone was not going to be selected. I accept that people may want to focus on the one who did not get nominated but I feel that’s unfair on the other girls. It’s a no-win situation, but let’s focus on being positive and get behind the girls who have been nominated. It’s the biggest ever team with ‘A’ standards.”

The three 50k walkers, Robert Heffernan, Brendan Boyce and Colin Griffin, were also nominated for selection as was Mark Kenneally, the only athlete to achieve the ‘A’ standard for the men’s marathon.


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