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Olympic marathon qualifier Scullion reconsiders 'rash' retirement announcement

Scullion had announced his retirement with a short tweet on Saturday night.

Scullion finished second at the Dublin Marathon in 2019.
Scullion finished second at the Dublin Marathon in 2019.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

MARATHON RUNNER STEPHEN Scullion has said that he “couldn’t retire in peace” with the Tokyo Olympics on the horizon and is reconsidering his shock decision to quit the sport.

Scullion, 31, posted a short tweet last night which said: “Today was my last race, I’ve decided to retire. For reasons I’ll talk about in future.”

But the Belfast athlete clarified his intentions this afternoon and said that the announcement was “a rash decision”.

Scullion ran a personal best time of 2:11:52 to finish fifth in the Houston Marathon last January, a result that saw him achieve the 2020 Olympic qualification standard.

“Anybody who listens to [my] podcast will know it’s been an up and down experience during Covid. Last night it caught up with me that I should be in training camp in Tokyo, preparing for the Games,” Scullion explained.

“Things got a little too much for me and I made a rash decision to announce some form of retirement. Retirement isn’t that easy and I didn’t speak to anybody about it.

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“I’ve found training solo tough and I’m used to training camps with coaches, physio and friends around me 24/7. The answer might be that I don’t retire but try my best to relocate to somewhere I can have that company/support.

“From the messages I’ve received it’s really lovely to hear that I’ve inspired people and you’ve enjoyed following my career until now. It’s never bloody straightforward with me and having read all the tweets and messages you’re all so right and I couldn’t retire in peace knowing how close we got to the Olympics and bigger things ahead.”

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Niall Kelly

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