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Meet Ireland's Olympic Team: Paul Pollock

The Co. Down man will compete in one of the last events in the Games.

Image: Ian MacNicol

Event: Marathon

Who is he? Pollock is a 30-year-old doctor who took time off last year to chase his Olympic dream.

Where’s he from? He hails from Holywood, Co. Down, and counts a certain former world number one golfer as an ex-schoolmate.

Olympic CV: Rio will be his first time at the Games.

Road to Rio: Now… Pollock found himself inadvertently drawn into a controversy this summer when he was selected for one of Ireland’s three marathon places despite being the fourth fastest man in green.

Last September, when the top four Irish marathon runners were competing in Berlin, Pollock was the fourth Irish athlete home, 24 seconds behind Sergiu Ciobanu.

Naturally the Moldovan-born runner wasn’t happy, but Athletics Ireland stuck by their three-man pick, saying: “the decisions were based purely on which athletes the panel believed would deliver the best performances at the Olympic Games.”

Paul Pollock Source: Karel Delvoije/INPHO

When does he start? The men’s marathon is the final athletics event of the Games. He’ll get under way at 13.30 on Monday 21 August and, if he matches his PB, should finish 2:15.38 later.

Where can I follow him? Get him on Facebook (here) and on Twitter, he’s @PPMarathon

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What he says: “A moment of pain, for a lifetime of happiness,” he tweeted after taking Ireland’s call.

Medal chances: Anyone who gets to that starting line should be proud of their achievement and the field will be trimmed to limit the strong nation’s involvement, but Pollock’s PB is 12 minutes off the current world leading time of 2:03.05.


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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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