Lisa Weightman reaching the finish at the 2012 London Olympic Games
Australia’s Lisa Weightman, 37, became the third runner to beat the qualifying standard for the Rio Olympic Games with a second place finish at Sunday’s Houston Marathon (January 17) in the USA.
Weightman, from Melbourne, led for the first 30kms of the 42.2kms race before being overtaken by eventual winner Biruktayit Degefa of Ethiopia.
The 25-year-old beat Weightman by a mere 1 min 28 seconds, but Weightman put in a fight until the very end, and for her efforts she will now team up with Aussies Jess Trengove and Milly Jane in bettering the qualifying mark for Rio.
The marathon qualifying period for Australians finishes on April 24.
According to the Australian Olympic Committee, Houston was Weightman’s first official marathon since the birth of her son 13 months ago.
At the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, she finished 33rd in a time of 2:34:16 and improved her next Olympic appearance, at the 2012 London Games, where she claimed spot number 17 and shaved more than six minutes off her previous time, finishing in 2:27:32.
Australia can enter a maximum of three athletes in any individual event in Rio.
Houston Marathon results:
It seemed the Ethiopians took over Sunday’s Houston Marathon – the nation’s Gebo Burka, Girmay Gebru and Birhanu Gedefa all took first, second and third placings respectively. Even fourth place was taken by Ethiopian Yitayal Atanfu before Poland’s Artur Kozlowski grabbed a steady fifth.
In the women’s division as mentioned, Biruktayit Degefa grabbed first, Weightman took second and Ethiopian Sechale Dalasa ran over the line in third.
For a full list of results visit Chevron Houston Marathon.