Fiona O’Keeffe Achieves Yet Another Remarkable Feat After Dominating the US Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier

Published 02/08/2024, 8:54 PM EST

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The US Olympic marathon trials qualifiers saw a very astonishing result this year. Everyone was counting their favorites for the women’s long-distance event. However, a new face arrived out of the blue and landed the first position in her debut run. This was the introduction of Fiona O’Keeffe to the American marathon scene.

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The 25-year-old Fiona O’Keeffe achieved a massive feat at the Olympic marathon trials qualifiers by beating America’s fastest distance runners. Interestingly, while O’Keeffe bagged a shot to get closer to Paris, a social media post reveals that she has earned herself another grand honor from the apex body of track and field in the USA. 

Fiona O’Keeffe leaves every American athlete behind

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USATF added a new post to its official Instagram account with the caption, “An Olympic Trials record in her marathon debut 🤩 Fiona O’Keeffe’s win in Orlando earned her USATF Athlete of the Week honors 🇺🇸🏆 #JourneyToGold.” The post carried an image of O’Keeffe with the American flag after she secured the first position.

 

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This showcases that Fiona O’Keeffe didn’t just leave everyone behind at the marathon, but every other US athlete across every discipline. Interestingly, while the 25-year-old’s performance surpassed every American athlete this week, she also overcame several records as well.

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With her unprecedented victory, Fiona O’Keeffe is now the only runner who won the Olympic marathon trials qualifier as a debutant. She also became the youngest runner to achieve this feat. That’s not all. O’Keeffe also finished the race in 2:22:10, which is the fastest record for the event. 

While the 25-year-old achieved so much despite being a rookie, her lack of experience wasn’t all rewarding. In fact, a rookie mistake left Fiona O’Keeffe bleeding during the race.

The incident that smeared her entire name tag red

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Marathons require the body to be in constant high-demanding action for hours. Thus, it is natural for the body to overheat. Many athletes find efficient ways to cool themselves during the race like Connor Mantz and Clayton Young, who filled their hats with ice. But, being new to this, Fiona O’Keeffe went with a strategy that proved detrimental to her.

The young distance runner stuffed her race attire with a couple of cooling gel packets. Unfortunately, instead of cooling, this led to excessive sweating, taking her hydration away, Moreover, the pointy ends of the packets also chafed her flesh, resulting in heavy bleeding. 

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When Fiona O’Keeffe finished the race, the white name tag on her chest had turned blood red. Despite this, however, the 25-year-old powered through this adversity and still managed to beat seasoned greats like Emily Sisson, Sara Hall, and more. Will this determination earn her an Olympic gold?

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Written by:

Ankit Singh

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Ankit Singh is a senior Olympic Sports correspondent at EssentiallySports who covers gymnastics, track and field, and the NCAA Women's Division 1 Volleyball. In his early days at ES, Ankit covered two prime track and field events - the 2023 World Athletics Championships and the 2023 Prefontaine Classic. During the 2023 NCAA Division 1 women’s Volleyball championships, Ankit wrote his perspectives on the Nebraska Huskers and the Wisconsin Badgers rivalry, and later covered the transfer portals after the Texas Longhorns lifted the victory.
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Edited by:

BHUJAYA RAY CHOWDHURY

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