Tokyo 2020 - Aug 8th Report


The Olympic Marathon concluded the involvement of Irish athletics athletes at these Games in the most brutal hot and humid conditons in Saporro which saw 30 athletes fail to finish.

Kevin Seaward finished 58th and Paul Pollock was 71st after enduring the tough 42km route.

The race was won by Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge who clocked 2:08:38 despite intense heat with 28 degrees and 80% humidity in Sapporo.

There was disappointment for Stephen Scullion who was one 30 to drop out during the event. The 32-year old withdrew before the 20km mark.

Seaward and Pollock ran patient races and both were close by going through the half way mark.

Seaward, who claimed this was his toughest ever race began to make his move with 15km to go and picked up almost 30 places to finish in a time of 2:21:45.

“I learned a lot about myself there in terms of resilience and inner strength. I am a teacher, some days I wake up and think what am I doing at the Olympics with all these guys,” said Seward post-race to RTE.

“I learned a lot about myself. When I was going through there I was telling myself, ‘you have to be resilient. you tell the children this in school. It is really tough. It is easy to stop. Just don’t. Keep going, keep working hard.’ I learned I can dig deep when I need to.”

Pollock was passed by his Irish team mate as they reached the 20k marker where the humidity had begun to take it's toll.

Pollock bravely battled on and although visibly exhausted, he crossed the finish line at an Olympic Games for the second time, clocking 2:27:48. Pollock also competed at Rio in 2016.

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