Aoife Cooke ran an Olympic marathon qualifying time on Sunday. The Cork woman won the Cheshire Elite Marathon in 2:28.30, a minute inside the Olympic standard.
The run improved on her own personal best by just over four minutes and makes the 34-year-old the second Irish woman to meet the marathon standard for Tokyo. Fionnuala McCormack ran 2:26.47 in the 2019 Chicago Marathon to qualify.
Cooke has also moved from fifth to fourth on the all-time Irish marathon list, leaping over Sonia O'Sullivan's 2005 run of 2:29.01.
Donegal runner Anne-Marie McGlynn placed third in Cheshire and was agonisingly close to the Olympic standard as finished just four seconds outside the required time.
Three Irish men - Stephen Scullion, Kevin Seaward and Paul Pollock - have already set qualifying times for the Olympic marathon.
Aoife Cooke has secured the qualifying time in the marathon for #Tokyo2020 with 2.28.30 at the Cheshire elite marathon, smashing her previous best of 2:32.34. Ann McGlynn came within 4 sec of the standard. Cooke joins Fionnuala Mccormack in securing the Olympic marathon standard pic.twitter.com/HQ202VlaEJ
— Team Ireland (@TeamIreland) April 25, 2021
Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile