Athletics: Freya eyes up alternative path to make London 2012

Capital marathon star Freya Murray will not allow the disappointment of missing out on Olympic selection get her down, as she looks to other ways of qualifying for the British team for London 2012.

“I’m hoping to get ready to do some 5000 metres and 10,000 metres races now, as nothing has been confirmed as far as being a reserve for the marathon,” said Murray, whose best times of 15:26.5 and 32:23.44 are just shy of the A qualifying standards set by UK Athletics (15:20 and 31:45).

Her gallant Virgin London Marathon time of 2:28.10, the third fastest debut ever by a British woman, has left the 28-year-old Edinburgh AC member in limbo, as she missed clinching the automatic third place in the team, which instead went to Bristol’s Claire Hallissey, who finished one place and 35 seconds ahead of her.

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Paula Radcliffe and Mara Yamouchi had already been named by the British selectors even though, since that announcement last year, both have had fitness problems and Radcliffe recently finished a half marathon in some distress, raising questions as to whether she may pull out.

Both Hallissey and Murray were comfortably quicker than a third contender Jo Pavey, who ran 2:28.28 over a reputedly harder course in the New York Marathon last year and chose to sit out London as she believed running there just three months before the Olympics would affect her chances of doing well.

At least one London-based commentator claimed she had been “snubbed”, however, had Hallissey been overlooked in favour of Pavey, it might well have provoked the sort of storm already brewing on Facebook and Twitter over the choice of Dave Webb, at the expense of Lee Merrien, for the men’s race.

Merrien (Guernsey) finished in a personal best of 2:13.41, three minutes clear of the next Brit and two minutes faster than Dave Webb ran last year.

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But Webb’s performance was achieved when he finished 15th, inside the Top 20, in the World Championships in Daegu which fulfilled the UKA’s strict selection criteria. Merrien, on the other hand, was 22nd in Daegu and did not.

Sadly Merrien, despite attaining the official Olympic qualifying standard, will now be an on-looker while only two runners, pre-selected Scott Overall and Webb, represent Team GB in the event.