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Articles tagged #Paul Pollock
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Irish marathon runner Kevin Seaward believes Olympics probably won't happen

Irish marathon runner Kevin Seaward feels there is "every likelihood" this year's Olympics will not take place because of the coronavirus crisis.

Seaward ran the distance for Ireland at the Rio Games and set a new Northern Ireland marathon record of 2:10.09 last month to seemingly book his Tokyo spot.

"The Olympics symbolize something more than a Games at the moment," he said.

"It would be a beacon of hope for people. But I honestly don't think they are going to happen."

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is continuing to insist the Games could still begin on 24 July despite the pandemic but several high profile athletes including British heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson have criticized this stance.

World champion Johnson-Thompson says training has become "impossible" because of the restrictions around coronavirus and has had to move back home from her normal base in France after the country was put on lockdown.

As a distance runner who does most of his workouts alone and rarely uses a track, Seaward says his training is not being hindered to the same extent as the Englishwoman, but nevertheless feels the IOC will have to at least move the Games to a later date if not cancel altogether.

Seaward, 36, is an assistant head teacher at a Leicestershire secondary school and has been working flat out with his colleagues to make arrangements for the children of key workers who will remain in school in the coming weeks after the British Government's school closures announcement on Wednesday.

"It's challenging times. School has been pretty crazy the last three or four days but we've got a little bit of clarity now," the Northern Irishman told BBC Sport Northern Ireland.

"You don't know that the Olympics are going to happen. I've come to the conclusion that there's every likelihood of them not happening. We've certainly got bigger things to worry about globally at the minute."

Seaward believes the postponement and cancellation of numerous Olympic qualifiers and other events which would have offered the opportunity to book Tokyo berths is another reason why the Games are unlikely to happen - certainly in the summer.

"I read an article today where Seb Coe said it was too early to make a decision (on the Games) and I kind of agree it's too early to definitively say yes or no.

"Aside from the fact that what we're experiencing now may not have cleared by then, people still have to qualify. There's a lot of thought that would have to go into making the process fair for everyone.

"From a marathoner's perspective, we have three Irish qualifiers (Seaward, Paul Pollock and Stephen Scullion) but we also know there are multiple other guys (Sean Tobin, Hugh Armstrong and Mick Clohisey) who were training hard and who were determined to give it a go to qualify but their marathons were cancelled."

(03/20/2020) Views: 301 ⚡AMP
by John Haughey
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Kevin Seaward clocked a lifetime best and became the second-fasted Irish marathon runner of all time in the process at the Seville Marathon on Sunday

Belfast man Kevin Seaward, a school teacher, ran the second-fastest Irish marathon time ever as he finished 26th at the Seville Marathon on Sunday morning.

Belfast’s Seaward ran a PB of 2:10:10 – second only to John Treacy’s national record of 2:09:15.

Seaward’s time was more than three minutes quicker than his previous best of 2:13:39, which he ran in Berlin last September.

Only John Treacy, in 1988, has ran a faster Marathon time for Ireland than Seaward while the 36-year-old now becomes the fastest Northern Ireland marathon man of all time. 

It is also comfortably inside the IAAF time of 2:11:30 for Tokyo 2020 qualification as he becomes the third Irish marathon runner to achieve the Olympic criteria.

The 34-year-old joins Paul Pollock, who ran a 2:10:25 in Valencia in December, and Stephen Scullion who is eligible by virtue of his fifth-place finish at the “gold label” Houston Marathon where he ran a time of 2:11:52.

Ballina’s Hugh Armstrong missed out on the Olympic time by less than a minute this morning, finishing 35th in a personal best of 2:12:26.

Seaward joins Paul Pollock and Stephen Scullion as Tokyo 2020 qualifiers.

(02/24/2020) Views: 340 ⚡AMP
by Niall Kelly
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Zurich Marathon Sevilla

Zurich Marathon Sevilla

This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...

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Irish Marathon runner Paul Pollock run his personal best at the Valencia Marathon, 2:10:25 securing the automatic qualifying time for next year’s Tokyo Olympic marathon

It was an improvement of over five minutes on Pollock’s previous best and also moves the Belfast runner to number two on the Irish all-time list behind John Treacy’s 2:09.15 set 31 years ago in Boston, and moving Mark Carroll into third with his 2:10.52 run in New York in 2002. Pollock finished in 20th position in Valencia.

The 33-year-old also qualified for the Rio Olympic marathon in 2015, and has been one of Ireland’s top performers on the road in recent years, his previous best being 2:15.30. A qualified doctor, he has also endured his share of injuries in recent years and as recently as September was out with a broken metatarsal.

Pollock also becomes the first Irish men’s qualifier in the marathon for Tokyo; Fionnuala McCormack becoming the first Irish woman to qualify in Chicago in October. Fellow Belfast runner Stephen Scullion is also eyeing up the Tokyo standard of 2:11.30, eyeing up the Houston marathon next month.

Interestingly Pollock was also wearing the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Next Percent, the running shoes that have courted some controversy for the series of faster marathon times this year.

Also running in Valencia over the 10km, Joshua Cheptegei smashed the world record in that distance, clocking 26.38. The Ugandan clipped six seconds from the previous record of 26.44 set by Kenya’s Patrick Komon in 2010 to complete a sensational 2019 hat-trick that included world titles in cross-country and 10,000m on the track.

Running on his own over the entire second half, a determined Cheptegei reached 6km in 16.02 and 7km in 18.42. Cheptegei forged on, reaching 8km in 21.37, when it became clear that the world record was within reach.

With 23.59 on the clock at the 9km point, Cheptegei needed to cover the final kilometer in 2.45, a close well within his capabilities.

“World cross champion in Denmark, 10,000m world champion in Doha and now the world record here in Valencia. What a year it has been,” the 23-year-old said. “I can’t believe it. I knew that Valencia was going to be a really fast course, one of the fastest in the world. So to get to achieve what we came here for is something really special.”

(12/02/2019) Views: 1,231 ⚡AMP
by lan O'Riordan
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Yassine Rachik and Lilia Fisikovici win Olomouc Half Marathon

Italy’s Yassine Rachik and Lilia Fisikovici of Moldova continued their winning ways in the RunCzech EuroHeroes Challenge series, taking the titles at Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon in the Czech Republic.

In hot conditions, with the temperature around 30°C at the start of the race at 7pm local time, Rachik clocked 64:26 and Fisikovici 73:32 for clear victories.

That makes it three wins from three races for the pair in the EuroHeroes series, following their success in Karlovy Vary in May and Ceské Budejovice at the beginning of this month.

The four-race series was launched in 2018 with the support of European Athletics and aims to highlight new sporting heroes from the continent, as athletes claim points for their performances and can compete for a separate EuroHeroes ranking and prize structure.

Ukraine’s Olha Kotovska was second in 74:35 and her compatriot Darya Mykhailova was third in 74:57. Matea Parlov finished fourth in 75:18.

In the men’s race, London Marathon ninth-placer Rachik solo ran his way to success, with Ukraine’s Roman Romanenko securing second in 66:01 and Ireland’s Paul Pollock placing third in 66:12.

The top Czech runners were Vít Pavlišta in fifth with 68:09 and Marcela Joglová in ninth with 77:55.

“It was hard to run alone,” said Rachik, “and it wasn’t easy to fight with that heat, too.”

A total of 10,078 runners took part in the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon events, with 6481 in the main race and 3597 in the family run.

The fourth and final event in this year’s EuroHeroes Challenge will be the Mattoni Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon, held on September 21.

(06/23/2019) Views: 739 ⚡AMP
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Ireland's team is set to run the World Half Marathon Championships

Paul Pollock and Kevin Seaward are among five Northern Ireland athletes named for the Ireland team for this month's World Half Marathon Championships. They will be joined by Stephen Scullion in the men's race in Valencia with Fionnuala Ross and Laura Graham both in the women's event. "This is perfect timing with regards to the Commonwealth Games," said Pollock. The Holywood man finished a superb 14th at the World Half in Cardiff in 2016. "When I looked ahead before last Christmas, the World Half was definitely a goal," added the 31-year-old medical doctor. "I know some of Northern Ireland's athletes will go out to Australia the week before then but I was really pleased Athletics NI recognised that it would be really beneficial for Kevin and me to go to Valencia." (03/08/2018) Views: 1,170 ⚡AMP
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Paul Pollock is eager to get his racing shoes back on

Pollock has his first road race of 2018 next weekend at the Barcelona Half Marathon before looking ahead to the World Half Marathon Championships on 24th March in Valencia. “I can’t wait to get out on the road again after this good block of training,” says the 62:09 half marathoner. “Looking at the start list there is quite a few Irish and British athletes taking part in Barcelona, so it should be a good race. Once next weekend’s out of the way, my eyes will be firmly fixed on the World Half. (02/06/2018) Views: 1,091 ⚡AMP
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Pollock records new 10k personal best in Spain!

Northern Ireland’s Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) recorded a brilliant 29:06 (14th place), a new 10k road personal best, at the San Silvestre Vallecana 10k road race in Madrid (Spain) on New Year’s Eve. He competed at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, finishing the marathon in 32nd position, in a time of 2.16.24. He was the first Irishman home. His time was the third fastest by an Irish runner at an Olympic Games. (01/03/2018) Views: 710 ⚡AMP
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