Hutchinson seals Olympic spot in Houston
THERE was some good news for Irish athletics at the Houston Marathon yesterday as Dundrum South Dublin's Ava Hutchinson became the latest Irish athlete to qualify for the London Olympics.
Hutchinson finished the Texas event in a time of 2 hours 35 minutes and 33 seconds, well inside the Olympic 'A' mark of 2:37 and even faster than DSD team-mate Linda Byrne, who achieved qualifying with her 2:36.21 run in the Dublin Marathon last autumn.
Hutchinson, whose family moved from Blackrock in Dublin to London in her early teens, is based in Loughborough and now training full-time.
She is the Irish half-marathon champion, but Houston was only her second marathon, after she faded following a good start in Dublin in October when she finished in 2:42.
Elsewhere, Ireland's European Cross-Country champion Fionnuala Britton proved no match for the world's top Africans at the IAAF International de Italica in Seville yesterday.
Britton was still the first European-born athlete home, finishing in eighth place in 26:54.