The British Olympic Association (BOA) announced today the selection of Scott Overall, Paula Radcliffe and Mara Yamauchi to compete for Team GB in the marathon event at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The trio represent the first individuals to be selected from the sport of athletics and bring the total number of athletes officially selected to Team GB for London 2012 to 19 - including 11 sailors and five boxers.
All three marathon athletes achieved the UKA ‘A’ qualifying standard during 2011. Radcliffe’s time of two hours, 23 minutes and 46 seconds at the Berlin Marathon was inside the ‘A’ qualifying standard of two hours and 31 minutes. The race in the German capital was the world record holder’s second race this year following time away from the sport after having her second child.
The 37-year-old’s inclusion to Team GB makes Radcliffe the third British athletics competitor to be selected for five Olympic Games, following in the footsteps of Tessa Sanderson and Chris Maddocks, and she will be the first to compete in three marathons.
Radcliffe is joined by Mara Yamauchi, who achieved the qualifying standard at the Yokohama Marathon last month, when she clocked a time of two hours, 27 minutes and 24 seconds. Yamauchi, who finished sixth at 2008 Beijing Olympics, is the second fastest British woman over the marathon distance this year behind Radcliffe.
Scott Overall is the sole male representative selected to date, following his excellent marathon debut in Berlin. The 28-year-old met the ‘A’ standard when he finished fifth, in a time of two hours, 10 minutes and 55 seconds. The Londoner comes from a 5,000m background but successfully swapped the track for the roads during 2011.
The athletes were formally nominated to the BOA for selection to Team GB by UK Athletics, the National Governing Body for athletics in the UK.
A second round of Team GB marathon selections for the Olympic Games will take place following the London Marathon in April 2012.
Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said:
“The marathon is one of the iconic events of the Olympic Games and a classic test of endurance, strength and mental fortitude. The marathon races will provide a great spectacle and a unique opportunity for the British public to line the course and give their famous passionate and vocal support to Team GB’s athletes in their quest for Olympic success.
“Achieving Team GB selection to five consecutive Olympic Games is a remarkable feat and Paula Radcliffe is a truly special British athlete. Competing at home in London brings an unprecedented platform for all Team GB athletes to demonstrate their talent and determination, and what could be more exciting than the prospect of winning an Olympic medal in front of a home crowd on the Mall?”
Charles van Commenee, Team GB Athletics Team Leader and UK Athletics Head Coach said:
“I’m pleased to name Scott Overall, Paula Radcliffe and Mara Yamauchi in the first marathon selection for London 2012. Scott’s debut marathon performance bodes well for the future, while Mara, who was sixth at the Beijing Olympics and Paula, the marathon world record holder, are both on their way back to the high standards they set themselves previously. All three athletes now have the opportunity to prepare themselves in the most ideal way for the Games. I expect them to represent Team GB well in London.”
Scott Overall said:
“When I ran the qualifying time in Berlin in September I was hoping that would be enough to secure my selection and fortunately it has been. The marathon course is really spectator friendly so I can imagine the home crowd will be absolutely fantastic and the atmosphere will be amazing.”
Paula Radcliffe said:
“To represent your country at a home Olympics is something special and I’m over the moon to be selected for Team GB. I was pleased to get the qualifying time in Berlin earlier this year and my sole focus is getting in the right shape for London. I’m just fully concentrating on being fully prepared for next year.”
Mara Yamauchi said:
“I’m absolutely thrilled to have been selected. It’s a dream come true. I’ve been working really hard for this and I’m so relieved to have been selected. It’s going to be a fantastic Olympics and I’m going to give it 110% from now on in order to prepare myself as best as I possibly can. I’m so grateful to all the people who have supported me in achieving selection for the Olympics.”