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Court gives Paul Pollock the OK to run in Rio Olympics

By Brian Hill

Ulster marathon runner Paul Pollock has been cleared to compete in next month's Rio Olympics following a decision of the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport to dismiss an appeal lodged by Dublin club rival Sergiu Ciobanu, regarding the Moldova-born athlete's omission from the Irish team.

Ciobanu, who runs for Clonliffe, had argued that he should have been selected as his marathon time was some 24 seconds faster than that of Annadale's Pollock who put his medical career on hold in pursuit of his Olympic dream.

However in the recent European Half Marathon in Amsterdam, Pollock, from Holywood, was nearly three minutes faster than Ciobanu when he finished as first Irishman in 17th position.

The Court stated that it did not consider that there was "any failure on behalf of Athletics Ireland to either follow or apply the relevant selection policy properly construed."

Athletics Ireland welcomed the decision and said it had been a very difficult task selecting three Irish athletes for Rio from a total of seven who were qualified .

This now confirms that three Northern Ireland athletes will represent Ireland in the marathon events in Rio. Pollock, plus Kevin Seaward of St Malachys will race in the Men's event while North Belfast's Breege Connolly will compete in the Women's race.

Belfast Telegraph


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