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Seaward clocks Ireland's fastest marathon time since 2002, another record for 42-year-old Mayo-born Diver

From Berlin to Doha, Belfast man Kevin Seaward and Australia’s adopted star Sinéad Diver impressed over distance this weekend.

WHILE MUCH OF the focus of the athletics world was on the World Championships in Doha this weekend, Ireland’s Kevin Seaward achieved a brilliant feat in Berlin yesterday which may have gone under the radar.

kevin-seaward-finishes-the-mens-marathon Kevin Seaward finishing the Rio 2016 marathon. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The 35-year-old ran the fastest marathon by an Irish athlete in 17 years — Mark Carroll ran 2:10.54 in New York in 2002 (the second quickest behind John Treacy’s national record.)

Belfast man Seaward finished the Berlin Marathon in 2:13.39, with the time moving him to joint 10th on the all-time Irish list.

His new personal best is outside the qualifying standard of 2:11:30 for next year’s Olympics in Tokyo, but there’s still opportunity to make the cut with athletes able to qualify via their world ranking position.

The Berlin Marathon was a fast one, won by Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele. He finished just two seconds outside Eliud Kipchohe’s world record of 2:01.39.

Ireland’s Rob Murphy clocked a time of 2:22:05, with Seaward’s fellow Belfast man Stephen Scullion running the marathon for Ireland at the worlds in Doha on Saturday.

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“Great for Irish Athletics and Athletics NI to see @Kevrunning running 2.13 in Berlin,” Scullion tweeted afterwards. “It raises the bar again and to challenge on the European marathon scene we need to keep the progression going.”

Over in the Qatar capital on Saturday, there was good news for Mayo native Sinéad Diver in the Australia singlet as she set a new world over 40s 10,000m record in 31:25.49.

Diver, who now lives in Melbourne, and Ellie Pashley battled it out to be the first Australian home. Both athletes set new personal bests, with Pashley finishing in 13th place, and Diver just behind in 14th.

The 42-year-old just missed the Olympic qualifying standard of 31:25 by less than half a second. Her focus switches to the New York Marathon in five weeks now.

imago-20190928 Diver on the line for Australia on Saturday. Source: Imago/PA Images

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Emma Duffy

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