Great Britain's Lee Merrien aims for 2016 Olympic marathon time

Lee Merrien
Lee Merrien was second at the Island Games half-marathon this summer

Great Britain marathon runner Lee Merrien says he is in shape to run the qualifying time for the 2016 Olympics.

Guernsey's Merrien, 36, completed his first 26-mile race since London 2012 as he finished 26th in the Berlin marathon in two hours 15 minutes 30 seconds.

He missed the 2014 Commonwealth Games after a stress fracture in his back and now has to run under 2:14:00 for Rio.

"I think I'm in shape to run faster than 2:15:30 gave me credit for," Merrien told BBC Radio Guernsey.

"But having had the last six months of reasonable training, having had two years on and off of very interrupted training, I can now start my next six months when I'll tackle another marathon with a much better starting point so I can build on that fitness."

Lee Merrien
Lee Merrien finished in 30th place at the 2012 Olympics in London

Merrien was absent for almost a year of racing after his back injury, with his first half marathon in over 12 months being his silver medal-winning run at this summer's Island Games.

"There's a lot of people out there, people always spring out of the woodwork in terms of the Olympics as it's only once every four years," he said.

"The obvious people are the likes of Scott Overall, who's already got the time and is likely to be going and there's one or two others that are very good marathon runners too who'll be pushing to try to get the qualifying standard.

"But I can only focus on what I do and I'm just focussing on training hard to make that extra time up that I need and I believe I can get.

"If that gets me inside the qualifying time and I happen to be one of the three fastest people in the country then that will get me picked, so that's the goal really."