Gary O’Hanlon crosses the line at the Dublin Marathon

ATHLETICS | O’Hanlon crowned Irish Marathon champion after Sittuk fails to meet criteria for eligibility

Kilkerley man Gary O’Hanlon has been declared the Irish National Marathon champion following a meeting of the Competition Committee of Athletics Ireland on Wednesday night.

O’Hanlon recorded a Personal Best of 2:18:52 at the Dublin Marathon on Sunday, finishing 11th overall, which he thought was enough to secure the top Irish finisher award.

The prize, though, went to Freddy Sittuk, the Kenyan athlete who runs for Raheny Shamrocks, who finished fourth overall in a time of 2:16:05.

However, at the meeting on Wednesday night, the Dublin club supplied information confirming that Sittuk had failed to meet the required criteria for eligibility under the residency rule, resulting in the title being handed over to O’Hanlon.

“The information initially received by the association indicated that Freddy Sittuk was eligible and therefore he was deemed champion on Sunday,” said Athletics Ireland’s Competition Committee Chairman, John Cronin.

“Once we received information from the club stating that the athlete had, in fact, not met the criteria, the committee met to discuss the situation and Gary O’Hanlon has been deemed National Marathon Champion,” he added.

“The process for confirming residency eligibility for National Championships has, up to this event, worked well but the fact that Gary was not awarded this title and his gold medal on Sunday is very regrettable,” he added.

“We do, however, look forward to presenting Gary with his Championship title and medal shortly.”

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