No go, Jo! Hallissey's joy, but it's marathon misery for poor Pavey
21:56 GMT, 22 April 2012
Jo Pavey sat at home in Devon, watching on television as her dream of joining Paula Radcliffe in this year's Olympic marathon in London expired on the city's streets.
The defending men's champion and a world record holder may both have missed out on selection for Kenya's Olympic team because of their performances in the Virgin London Marathon, but no Briton was a bigger loser than the lady with her feet up.
Three-time Olympian Pavey missed the race because she believed that the time of 2 hours 28 minutes 24sec, which she ran at last year's London marathon, would not be matched by any of the others bidding for the third and final place alongside Radcliffe and Mara Yamauchi.
Joy! Hallissey beats the time of Pavey in the London Marathon
'I have decided to leave it to fate,' she explained. But Pavey's gamble went the same way as those who backed men's 3-1 co-favourites Emmanuel Mutai and Patrick Makau to win a trip back to London in August.
Dr Claire Hallissey, 29, who has a Phd in immunology from Cambridge, ran nearly two minutes faster than in her only other marathon to surpass Pavey's best by 40 seconds in 2:27:44.
The British Olympic Association will announce on Monday who has been chosen, but Pavey is not holding out much hope.
She said: 'There's a chance that they may take into account I ran a good time in New York on a hilly course (last November) but I think that won't be the case. I'll turn my attention to qualifying for the track at 5,000 or 10,000 metres. That's what I am familiar with.
'It's a weight lifted off my mind because now I know what I have to focus on. It's a kind of relief. It's not all gloom and doom.'
Hallissey, who moved with her husband to Arlington, Virginia after graduating, said: 'It was an all or nothing race. There was no point running a conservative race and trying to do a slight pb.
All smiles: Hallisey looks to have secured a place at the Olympics while Kipsang waas the fastest male (below)
'It would be great to be selected for a home Olympics. It's a once in a lifetime chance. I have done everything I came here to do and now it's in the selectors' hands.'
Hallissey was not alone in beating Pavey's best. Freya Murray, 28, a Scot making her marathon debut, finished 13th in 2:28:04. Like Pavey, she can expect to watch the Olympics on television.
Neither Briton was ever in the leading group and their career best times must be put in proper perspective.
Mary Keitany successfully defended her London title with a new Kenyan record of 2:18:37, a winning margin of 73 seconds over Edna Kiplagat and 97 seconds ahead of Priscah Jeptoo, her Kenyan compatriots.
Only Radcliffe, the world record holder, and Russian Liliya Shobukhova have ever run faster.
All three Kenyan women will be coming back to London for the Games – Keitany as favourite – but the Kenyan's men's team is as mired in confusion as it was before its officials called this London race their official Olympic trial.
Finally finished! Runners make their way down the Mall after completing the exhausting run
Makau, who set the world record only six
months ago, stopped with hamstring problems after 10 miles. Mutai,
world silver medallist and defending London champion, finished seventh
and Abel Kirui, twice world champion, blew up in the last five miles to
Certain to earn selection is the winner Wilson Kipsang, the world's second fastest ever, who came within four seconds of London's course record in 2:04:44.
But there must be doubt whether the same nod will be given to Martin Lel, three-time London winner, who was runner-up in 2:06:51. Four Kenyans who were not in London have run faster this year.
Britain will have only one man at the Games. Scott Overall, who was chosen last year, offered to pace other contenders by running inside 2:12:00, Britain's nominated qualifying time. But he gave up after 47 minutes when none of the Britons followed him.
'They said they would give it a go, it's a bit disappointing,' said Overall, who stopped the moment he felt a hamstring tighten. If Keitany and Kipsang showed themselves as Olympic favourites, Britons David Weir and Shelly Wood are now for the Paralympics.
Both beat all their likely wheelchair rivals – Weir by only one second in a sprint finish, Wood by almost four minutes.