Ten athletes funded by London Marathon Events (LME) have been selected to represent Great Britain at this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games.
Steeplechasers Lizzie Bird and Zak Seddon along with Jake Heyward (1500m), Amy-Eloise Markovc (5,000m) and Sam Atkin (10,000m) all had their Olympic places confirmed yesterday [Tues], adding to places already secured by Marc Scott (5,000m and 10,000m) and marathoners Steph Davis, Jess Piasecki, Chris Thompson and Ben Connor.
LME has been supporting British endurance running since 2001 when it started a funding partnership with British Athletics. The elite athlete funding programme was set up in 2019 and offers direct support to 30 athletes who sit just outside British Athletics’ World Class programme and Futures Academy programme but who still have the potential to star at major competitions.
Steph Twell (marathon) and Aimee Pratt (3,000m steeplechase) - who both graduated from the LME funding programme to British Athletics funding - will also be going to Tokyo, as will Keely Hodgkinson (800m) who is based at the Leeds Beckett University talent hub which is supported by LME. Other athletes on the Team GB Olympic team to have benefitted from LME funding in the past include Callum Hawkins and Eilish McColgan.
The elite athlete funding programme is part of a pathway of LME support to British running that ranges from playground to podium, including:
- The Daily Mile: inspiring activity in primary schools by supporting the delivery of The Daily Mile programme - which encourages pupils to take part in at least 15 minutes of activity a day - across schools in London
- Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon: Iconic races for London boroughs and UK regions on the streets of London plus a virtual edition for schools across the country to take part in 2.6-mile challenge
- Talent Development Hubs: the support of two training hubs at the University of Birmingham and Leeds Beckett University aimed at providing bases for the country’s most promising young athletes. The University of Birmingham hub hosted the British 10,000m trials this year while another Olympic qualifier Hogkinson is part of the Leeds Beckett University hub.
- Elite athlete funding: funding programme for 30 British endurance runners not currently on British Athletics support programmes
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of London Marathon Events, said: “Huge congratulations to all our funded athletes who have won Olympic selection this year.
“Our aim when we created the elite athlete funding programme was to offer help to those athletes just below the central British Athletics funding platform but who, with support, still had realistic chances of making teams for World Championships and Olympic Games.
“To have 10 of our 30 athletes heading to Tokyo is simply incredible and highlights how successful the programme has been in a short space of time.
“We wish our athletes all the best for Tokyo and the London Marathon Events team will be cheering them every step along the way.”
Amy-Eloise Markovic, who has been selected for her first Olympic Games, said: “I’m incredibly excited to qualify for my first Olympic team, and am very grateful for all the support over the last couple years from London Marathon Events.”
Full list of athletes on LME elite athlete funding programme selected for Tokyo Olympics
Sam Atkin (10,000m)
Lizzie Bird (3,000m steeplechase)
Ben Connor (marathon)
Steph Davis (marathon)
Jake Heyward (1500m)
Amy-Eloise Markovc (5,000m)
Jess Piasecki (marathon)
Marc Scott (5,000m and 10,000m)
Zak Seddon (3,000m steeplechase)
Chris Thompson (marathon)