Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Irish women in the Marathon at the Olympics...1984 to 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

Irish women in the Marathon at the Olympics...1984 to 2016

Following the women's marathon at the Rio Olympics last weekend, I had a closer look at the history of the event which was first introduced in 1984 at the Los Angeles Games. One of the most suprising findings is just how few Irish women have actually taken part in this Olympic event.

Some stats...

1) Only 11 Irish women have taken part in the Olympic Marathon.

2) Prior to the 2012 Games in London, only five Irish women had run an Olympic marathon. The three in 2012 and the three in 2016 brought the total up to eleven.

3) Amazingly, there were no Irish women in the Olympic Marathon from 1992 to 2004.

Year - Venue - Number of Irish Women
1984 - Los Angeles - 2
1988 - Seoul - 2
1992 - Barcelona - 0
1996 - Atlanta - 0
2000 - Sydney - 0
2004 - Athens - 0
2008 - Beijing - 1
2012 - London - 3 (Max team of 3)
2016 - Rio de Janerio - 3 (Max team of 3)

Following the 2008 Games in Beijing, the Irish Marathon Mission was established to improve the standards of elite Irish runners. This has been mostly financed by the organisers of the Dublin City Marathon and as you can see, it has helped in getting full teams for 2012 and 2016.

This chart shows more clearly the times of the 11 Irish women between 1984 and 2016. As you can see, Fionnuala McCormack's performance in Rio was exceptional when compared to the rest.

Note that these times were all set on different courses and with different conditions so we can't do an exact comparison. Still though, they are all Olympic Marathon finals so they are similar in that respect.

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