Midlothian marathon runner has her Rio grand dream dashed

Freya Ross from Temple, Midlothian
Freya Ross from Temple, Midlothian

There will be no second Olympic trip this summer for Freya Ross, but the Midlothian star believes she’s back on track by proving her injury woes are behind her in the Virgin Money London Marathon.

The 32-year-old from Temple finished 18th in the women’s race on Sunday in two hours, 37 minutes and 52 seconds after fading in the latter stages, as a brave bid to qualify for Rio 2016 came up short.

It left the Edinburgh Athletics Club runner almost six minutes outside the required standard with the tough time demanded for qualification seeing several domestic hopefuls – including fellow Scot Susan Partridge – come unstuck as they were forced to go for broke.

Instead it was Alyson Dixon and Sonia Samuels who guaranteed their names were in the British team for Brazil when it was announced on Tuesday.

“It was tough,” Ross said. “I just didn’t have it on the day. But I went for it, put myself on the line and gave it my best shot. I knew it was getting harder to keep with the pace but at mile 16, the gap started opening and I was left on my own. When you have that, it’s difficult to keep up.”

The race within a race saw Dixon, in 13th, end up nine minutes behind Kenya’s Jemima Sumgong who took a surprise victory in 2:22:58.

But Ross, who will help organise next month’s Edinburgh Marathon, will now look ahead with confidence with the new target of next year’s World Championships in London on the horizon.

“Obviously I was here to qualify for Rio but at least I finished in one piece and there was no reoccurrence of my past injuries,” she said.

Kilbarchan’s Callum Hawkins and Shettleston’s Tsegai Tewelde secured their Rio 2016 spots with eighth and 12th place in the men’s race in London.