Athletics News

Race for Olympic marathon selection heats up in Seville

Race for Olympic marathon selection heats up in Seville

Calli Thackery, Rose Harvey and Phil Sesemann are among a sizeable British contingent racing in Spain on Sunday

Ethiopian 2:04 men Gadisa Shumie and Asrar Hiyrden plus sub-2:20 woman Helalia Johannes of Namibia lead the entries for the Seville Marathon on Sunday (Feb 18), but a number of Brits are making the journey to Spain in search of an Olympic qualifying mark or PB.

Calli Thackery, Rose Harvey and Natasha Wilson (née Cockram) are in the women’s field, whereas Phil Sesemann, Jonny Mellor, Weynay Ghebresilasie and Dewi Griffiths are in the men’s race.

Further Brits in Seville include Mo Aadan, Louise Small and Ross Braden with full entries here.

So far, Brits who have beaten the Olympic standards of 2:08:10 (men) and 2:26:50 (women) during the qualification window include:

Charlotte Purdue – 2:22:17, Berlin 2023
Calli Thackery – 2:22:17, New York, 2023
Rose Harvey – 2:23:21, Chicago 2023
Clara Evans – 2:25:04, Valencia 2023
Lily Partridge – 2:25:12, Valencia 2023
Sam Harrison – 2:25:59, London 2023
Natasha Wilson (née Cockram) – 2:26:14, Valencia 2022
Georgina Schweining – 2:26:28 – Valencia 2022
Emile Cairess – 2:08:07, London 2023

Phil Sesemann (David Hewitson)

The first British selection meeting for the Olympic marathon team is on February 19 – the day after Seville – with a second round the day after London Marathon on April 22.

Thackery’s 2:22:17 came on her marathon debut at the McKirdy Micro Marathon in New York in October and she ran 68:20 at the Houston Half-Marathon last month.

Harvey took four minutes off her PB to run 2:23:21 in Chicago last year while Wilson was Britain’s only female competitor in the marathon at the World Championships in Budapest last year.

Sesemann ran 2:08:48 in Valencia in December, just missing the Olympic qualifier, and he leads the British men’s challenge in Seville.

Not surprisingly the event will also see Spanish athletes trying to secure Olympic qualification. This includes Ayad Lamdassem and Fátima Ouhaddou.

Yeman Crippa of Italy also competes but Hiyrden, the 2022 winner with 2:04:43, and Shumie, the 2023 winner with 2:04:59, will start favourites.

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