Rio 2016: Pollock best of Irish in Olympic marathon

Paul Pollock and Mick Clohisey in the early stages of the Olympic Games marathon in Rio
Paul Pollock and Mick Clohisey in the early stages of the Olympic Games marathon in Rio

Paul Pollock was the top Irish runner in the Olympic Games marathon with the Holywood athlete finishing 32nd in Rio.

Pollock was back in 94th after 25K in wet but humid conditions before moving swiftly through the field to clock a time of 2:16.25

Belfast man Kevin Seaward came in 64th in a time of 2:20.06 while Mick Clohisey was 103rd in 2:26.34.

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge won with Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia second and American Galen Rupp collecting bronze.

Kipchoge, who won the London Marathon in April, left the rest of the field trailing to win in 2:08.44.

Lilesa came in 70 seconds later to take the silver while Britain's Callum Hawkins led midway through the race and the Scot finished in 2:11.52.

The Irish trio of Paul Pollock, Kevin Seaward and Mick Clohisey after finishing the Olympic marathon
The Irish trio of Paul Pollock, Kevin Seaward and Mick Clohisey after finishing the Olympic marathon

Pollock went into the Games with the slowest marathon time of the Team Ireland trio and he was controversially selected ahead of Sergio Ciobanu, who had a qualifying time 24 seconds faster than the Co Down man.

However, he fully justified his selection as the rain fell in Rio while Seaward also finished strongly after trailing in 128th place at the 15K mark.

"It was an okay performance - a top 20 finish was the first goal," said Pollock.

"I went out 30 seconds to a minute slower for the first half than the plan had been but the legs didn't come around until the second half."

"I came through strongly in the second half and this should give me a good platform to produce an even better performance in the major championships,"

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