2020 looks to be another exciting year for Sinead Diver as she joins thousands of athletes worldwide preparing for the Tokyo Olympics.

Based in Melbourne, the Belmullet native and Mayo Athletic Club member and is focusing on gaining qualification for the Australian women’s marathon team.

She currently heads the list of qualifiers.

The London Marathon organisers have announced the elite fields for this year’s event which takes place on Sunday April 26.

Sinéad is the only non-African among the top ten elite women who will compete. Last year she finished 7th there in a personal best time of 2:24.11.

In November she finished 5th and first non-African in the New York City marathon in 2:26.23 over what is one of the toughest of all the big city courses.

Like many athletes Sinéad’s training at her Melbourne Track Club base has been disrupted by the effects of smoke from the devastating wildfires disaster. The effects of disaster on air quality has been well documented by Sonia O’Sullivan in her recent column in the Irish Times. 

Sinead says that “training is going well although it’s a bit difficult some days with the smoke.”

Brigid Kosgei (Kenya) winner of 2019 London Marathon will be defending her title. She won the 2018 and 2019 Chicago Marathons and is the current marathon world record holder for women running in a mixed-sex race, with a time of 2:14:04.

The London marathon men’s race looks set to be exciting with the announcement that Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) is among those to challenge last year’s winner Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge.

Bekele ran the second fastest marathon time in history in Berlin in September, two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s official world record of 2:01.39.

The pair have met four times over 26.2 miles, with Kipchoge winning all four races. However Bekele has the better head-to-head record across all distances and surfaces.

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