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Derby win gave Marshall’s Rio hopes a boost

With a maiden Appleby Bermuda Half-Marathon Derby title under his belt, Lamont Marshall has shifted his focus to qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio.

The 31-year-old is attempting to reach the qualifying standard in the 3,000 metres steeplechase, and has at least two opportunities remaining to hit the mark of 8min 30sec.

According to father and coach, Larry Marshall, the distance runner's maiden victory in the May 24 race has boosted his confidence enough to believe he can achieve his Olympic dream.

“Coming off the high of May 24, Lamont is flying now and his whole demeanour has changed,” Larry Marshall said.

“To win that prestigious race like he did has propelled him forward in his quest to make the qualifying time for the Olympics, so we are feeling very good and confident.”

Marshall will attempt to qualify in the steeplechase at two meets in Spain and England between June 25 and July 9.

“Right now he has an area permit meet in Spain and that's significant because they have maybe four or five guys in the actual race who would get under the qualifying time of 8:30, so they could pull him through,” Larry Marshall said. “Then, on July 9, he has a steeplechase in England of equal quality.”

There is the possibility that Marshall could get an extra shot at Olympic qualification this month at a meet in New Jersey.

“We are hoping that Princeton University have a meet on June 18 and I'm just waiting for the meet director to get back to me,” Larry Marshall said.

“Lamont wants to get in that race, which would actually be three bites at the cherry.”

Marshall came to within 28 seconds of achieving the qualifying mark en route to a personal best time of 8:58 in Florida in April, which was five seconds slower than the national record of 8:53, held by Terrance Armstrong, a multiple Bermuda Half-Marathon Derby winner.

“Lamont is strong and mentally tough and realises that what he is being asked to do no Bermudian has come close to doing,” Larry Marshall said.

“Lamont is raring to go and it's just a question of executing on the day. His legs are stronger than ever and you need the strength to go over those 35 obstacles in the 3,000 steeplechase, so that strength is going to help him.”

Feeling confident: Marshall's win on May 24 has given him renewed hope that he can qualify for the Olympics (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published June 03, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 03, 2016 at 1:14 am)

Derby win gave Marshall’s Rio hopes a boost

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