Late-blooming Sinead Diver moved to third on the Australian women’s all-time list after finishing seventh in the London marathon.
The Irish-born, Australian-based 42-year-old ran a time of two hours 24 minutes and 11 seconds to better the qualifying mark for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Sinead Diver crosses the line in Sydney last year. Credit:AAP
The only Australian women to have run quicker marathons are Benita Willis and Lisa Ondieki.
Diver bravely went to the front early on in London and was the only woman to go with the pacemakers for the first half of a race, which was eventually won by Kenyan Brigid Kosgei in 2:18:20.
‘‘I wasn’t expecting to be leading, obviously, and was a little bit freaked out, and didn’t want to look behind,’’ said Diver, who is coached by Australian Nic Bideau.
‘‘The group caught me, and then there was a lot of surging, but I stuck to my own race, prefer to go steady.
‘‘I thought I may pay for it later on, but I hung on.’’
Australian para-athlete Michael Roeger broke the world record with a winning time of 2:22:51 in the T46 class.
‘‘First global gold – it’s pretty special. Wasn’t all smooth sailing out there though!’’ Roeger tweeted.
On a great day for the Australians, Brett Robinson and Jack Rayner finished 11th and 13th respectively in the men’s able-bodied race.
Robinson’s time of 2:10:55 was the quickest by an Australian in 15 years, while Rayner’s effort of 2:11:06 was the second-fastest marathon on debut by an Australian behind only Jeff Hunt.
Kenyan superstar Eliud Kipchoge won the men’s London race for a record fourth time in 2:02:37 – the second-fastest time ever behind only his own 2:01:39 set last year in Berlin.
British star Mo Farah was fifth.
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