Belmullet born Sinead Diver made her Olympic debut aged 44 on Saturday morning and finished in a brilliant tenth place representing Australia.
Diver started among the leaders but after 10km a pack of 12-15 broke away at the head of the field. With 10km to go she was in 20th place but continued to pass those who could not keep up pace with the eventual medal winners.
While this is her first Olympics, Diver has run 3 world championship marathons for Australia and this result improved on her previous best of 14th in Doha in 2019.
She qualified for the 2015 World Championships and sought selection for Ireland but didn’t meet Athletics Ireland’s elevated requirements. Having lived in Australia since 2002, they offered her a chance at a major championships and she felt she couldn’t turn them down.
Fionnuala McCormack was best of those representing Ireland today with a fine 25th herself in her fourth Olympics. It was a tremendous run considering McCormack had given birth seven months ago. Aoife Cooke was unfortunately forced to retire early on in the race in the gruelling conditions.
Kenya won gold and silver through Peres Jepchirchir and Brigid Kosgei. American Molly Seidel completed the podium.