Aoife Cooke will be Ireland's second contender in the Women's Marathon at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Cork native from Eagle AC convincingly beat the women's Olympic qualifying standard which is set at 2:29:30, by finishing in a time of 2:28:36 as she won the Cheshire Elite Marathon on Sunday.
It was also a marked improvement on her previous personal best time of 2:32:34 which she had recorded at the 2019 Dublin Marathon - her last marathon race before this Sunday's Cheshire showing.
She will join the already-qualified Fionnuala McCormack as Ireland's representatives in the women's marathon this summer. Stephen Scullion, Kevin Seaward and and Paul Pollock are the three Irish athletes who have already achieved the standard for the men's marathon.
Cooke's time moves her fourth on the all-time list of Irish women's marathon runners ahead of Sonia O'Sullivan.
Letterkenny AC's Ann-Maria McGlynn, who finished third in the Cheshire race in the village of Pulford, also set a personal best of 2:29:34 but it was ultimately just four seconds short of the qualifying standard.
Extraordinary...34-year-old @cooke_aoife only emerged as an elite athlete 18 months ago & she's now going to the Olympics with her 2.28.36 Marathon clocking in Cheshire. But agony for 41 yr-old Anne Marie McGlynn who ran 2.29.34 in Cheshire missing Olympic standard by just 4 secs https://t.co/vk4cqGasNG— Greg Allen (@gregallenRTE) April 25, 2021