The Australian Olympic Committee has unveiled the marathon runners to represent Australia at the Paris 2024 Olympics. Announced in Melbourne, the selected athletes are Sinead Diver, Genevieve Gregson, Jessica Stenson, Brett Robinson, and Patrick Tiernan.

Genevieve Gregson’s inclusion marks her as only the sixth Australian woman in history to participate in athletics at four Olympic Games. Meanwhile, Tiernan, Stenson, and Robinson are gearing up for their third Olympics. Diver, who holds the Australian record, returns for her second Games following a tenth-place finish in Tokyo, the highest Olympic placement by an Australian woman in over thirty years.

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Both Gregson and Tiernan are set to make their Olympic marathon debuts after transitioning from track events. Gregson’s selection is particularly notable given her remarkable recovery from a severe injury sustained at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Additionally, Gregson and Stenson will be competing as mothers for the first time, with Stenson achieving her qualifying time just six months postpartum.

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The Paris marathon course will showcase iconic landmarks such as the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower, following the historic route of the Women’s March on Versailles during the French Revolution in 1789. The men’s race will take place on the penultimate day of the Olympics, while the women’s event will conclude the athletics competition. In a first for the Olympics, a public marathon event will be held on the same course the evening before the women’s race.

Anna Meares, Chef de Mission for the Australian Olympic Team, announced the team at Lakeside Stadium in Albert Park. “Congratulations to Brett, Pat, Sinead, Genevieve, and Jess on your selections. The marathon is a special event, and I know you will represent Australia with pride in Paris,” said Meares. “This team is full of incredible athletes who have shown impressive resilience and determination to qualify for these Games.”

 

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Diver, who set a new national record of 2:21:34 in January 2023, expressed her excitement about competing in Paris. “It’s an honor to represent Australia for a second time at the Olympics,” she said. “Having my kids there means the world to me, and they’re so excited about getting to Paris. I learned a lot from my Tokyo preparation and my lead-up to the national record, so I’m aiming to be in even better shape for Paris.”

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Tiernan, aged 29, also shared his enthusiasm for his third Olympic appearance. “I’m very fortunate to have this experience again. Learning from Rio and Tokyo, I feel confident heading into Paris,” he said. “Transitioning to the marathon was challenging, but I believe it’s the event I’m most competitive in at an international level.”

Gregson reflected on her remarkable journey from injury in Tokyo to her fourth Olympic selection. “After Tokyo, I wasn’t sure if I could return to the same level of running, let alone make another Olympics,” she said. “Rehabbing a ruptured Achilles while being pregnant was tough, but it gave me inner motivation. Looking back, the journey has been special and exciting.”

Athletics Australia CEO Peter Bromley praised the selected athletes, stating, “We are incredibly proud of our marathon athletes. Their dedication and resilience embody the essence of Australian sport. We are in a golden era for Australian athletics, and this powerhouse team is ready to inspire us all with their courage and determination.”

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The marathon events will take place on August 10 (men) and August 11 (women), starting from the Hôtel de Ville and finishing at Invalides.

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