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Ann-Marie’s Tokyo dream intact

TUESDAY’S news that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics had been postponed for a year will have come as some welcome news to Strabane’s Ann-Marie McGlynn.

The Letterkenny Harriers’ qualification bid had seemingly hit a bit of a dead end when the Rottherdam Marathon – one of her final chances to post a fast enough time – was put back to October from it’s original early April date. At that stage the Games’ organisers were determined to forge ahead with the Tokyo event in July, regardless of the Coronavirus pandemic, which left McGlynn seemingly out of the running.

“When Rotterdam was cancelled I had a back-up plan of Manchester, a back-up plan of Hamburg if that went and Belfast but it was like a domino effect, they were just falling,” explained the Northern Ireland marathon record holder, who admitted it wasn‘t too hard to accept what was happening.

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“It’s easier when it’s taken out of your hands because I was also worried about going and what I was going to bring back, worried about my family and even getting back,” she added.

Since then, common sense seems to have been used and the Games in Japan have been put on hold for 12 months, which will give Ann-Marie and others extra time to secure their qualification times for 2021.

At the minute though, the Tullamore native is more concerned about the ever evolving pandemic and keeping her family safe rather than racing and training, which she knows will fall back into place once the lockdown ends.

“I’m just looking at keeping everyone healthy,” she confirmed. “We have other things to think about and we just all have to keep our heads, doing a wee bit of exercise and keep moving.

“Obviously running is good, it keeps me sane, it’s what I do but I’ve banked all that training, all those 100 miles per week. It’s not going to go to waste but as for the foreseeable future there’s nothing marked out racing wise.

“We just pulled back all the marathon training from last week, so the heavy load isn’t going to be there. It’s going to be the case of ticking over and getting ready when it comes, when it’s called and getting ready to go back into the high end training.”

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