Athletics Weekly - - Dip Finish -

GARY O’HAN­LON has been be­lat­edly awarded the Ir­ish na­tional marathon ti­tle af­ter it was judged Freddy Sit­tuk, a Kenyan-born mem­ber of Ra­heny Sham­rock AC, was in­el­i­gi­ble for the ti­tle.

Sit­tuk fin­ished fourth over­all at the re­cent Dublin Marathon – beat­ing 11th-placed O’Han­lon in the event

– and was ini­tially de­clared Ir­ish cham­pion. But Sit­tuk sub­se­quently failed to meet the full cri­te­ria for el­i­gi­bil­ity un­der the res­i­dency rule.

Sit­tuk, who has been run­ning for his Dublin club for the past five years, has been in Ire­land since April, but re­turned to Kenya for fam­ily rea­sons in Septem­ber, which meant he wasn’t el­i­gi­ble to com­pete hav­ing bro­ken the six months’ un­bro­ken res­i­dency re­quire­ment.

“Freddy has come to Ire­land for the last four or five years and has com­peted for his club through­out races,” said O’Han­lon. “A lot of peo­ple would say he has an en­ti­tle­ment to run for na­tional cham­pi­onships. He’s not like your av­er­age Kenyan that comes over for the Dublin Marathon and you never see him again.”

O’Han­lon is used to hav­ing an event­ful Dublin Marathon ex­pe­ri­ence. Four years ago he broke his hand on the eve of the race in a scuf­fle with thieves who stole his mo­bile phone.

He fin­ished sixth in the marathon but said he felt he could have placed in the top three if the in­ci­dent had not hap­pened.

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