Friday, April 1, 2011

Marathon hopefuls set for timely boost

Irish Olympic marathon hopefuls could get a boost when the qualification standards for the 2012 Games are agreed between Athletics Ireland (AAI) and the Olympic Council of Ireland(OCI) next month.

The AAI controversially decided to make the marathon standards for this summer's World Championships in Korea even harder than the 2:17 and 2:43 set out by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Athletics Ireland is demanding marks of 2:16 (men) and 2:38 (women) for Daegu because they felt that the IAAF standards were too easily attained, but the Irish Independent understands that AAI are contemplating softening their stance for London 2012.

The IAAF is expected to announce the Olympic standards in mid-April and it is not yet clear what the marathon mark will be, but they usually mirror those for the preceding World Championships.