Kevin Seaward secured an Olympic qualifying time at the Seville Marathon on Sunday.
The Belfast man ran 2:10.09, finishing 26th overall and breaking his own personal best by more than three minutes. The Olympic standard is 2:11.30.
The time means Seaward is the second fastest Irishman ever over the marathon. John Treacy's national record of 2:09.15 set 32 years ago in Boston makes him the fastest.
Seaward has competed for Ireland in the marathon at the European Championships and also the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Back doing what I do best...drinking coffee!! Huge thank you to every one who has supported/reached out today. I will reply...but for now, some food!! #Running #Seville #coffee pic.twitter.com/KVrndMUy2h
— Kevin Seaward (@Kevrunning) February 23, 2020
At the Berlin Marathon in late September, Seaward ran what was then the fastest marathon by an Irishman in 17 years but there have been a series of quick runs since.
Paul Pollock ran 2:10.25 in Valencia in December, Stephen Scullion finished the Houston Marathon in 2:11.52 last month while Mick Clohisey ran 2:13.19 at the Dublin Marathon in October. Pollock's time was the Northern Irish record but that is now held by Seaward.
Scullion is the only one to have definitely secured an Olympic spot. Though his time was outside the standard, he finished fifth in Houston. That marathon is considered a Gold Label event by World Athletics and means Scullion's finishing position was enough to assure him of a place in Tokyo.
Ballina AC's Hugh Armstrong also had a notable performance in Seville. The Mayo man ran a personal best of 2:12.26 as he finished 35th.
Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile