Emile Cairess hopes to qualify for Paris Olympics at London Marathon

Emile Cairess hopes he can follow training partner Phil Sesemann on the next step of their journey by also qualifying for the Olympics when he tackles the London Marathon again on Sunday.

Sesemann secured his place on the British squad for Paris after running inside the qualifying standard of two hours, eight minutes and four seconds at the Seville Marathon in February.

Cairess came sixth on his London Marathon debut last year, producing the best finish among the home athletes and also recording a third-fastest British men’s time.

The 26-year-old Yorkshireman feels in good shape to produce another solid display as he bids to join Leeds City club-mate Sesemann in the Team GB squad for Paris, with two more spots still to be taken.

“It was a great feeling to see Phil run 2:08.04. We have been training together for a long, long time,” Cairess said.

“When we first started training together, if somebody told us we could go to the Olympics together, it would have probably looked pretty unrealistic.

“We started training together nine years ago, so we have been on a long journey.

(PA graphic)

Cairess finished ahead of both Sir Mo Farah and Sesemann in the 2023 event, and has his sights firmly set on improving upon that display.

“My preparations have gone well. I have done everything I wanted to do in training and I am hoping for a good race on Sunday,” he said.

“I just want to progress from last year and think with the marathon, you have to take it step by step.

“I want to take the next step forward and make that progress again to be near the front of these big races.”

Great Britain’s Emile Cairess in front of Buckingham Palace
Emile Cairess feels he is better prepared heading into the 2024 London Marathon (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“The main thing was just having patience – even if you feel good, just be patient and there is still quite a long way to go.

“I have had a full year really of training for the marathon now, rather than just 12 weeks. I have progressed a long way, so I am hoping to show that on the weekend.”

Olympian Marc Scott will be making his London Marathon debut on Sunday as he looks to build on strong track performances, taking bronze in the 3000m at the 2022 World Indoor Championships.

Marc Scott wins the 2021 Great North Run
Marc Scott won the 2021 Great North Run (Richard Sellers/PA)

“It is nerve-wracking because it is an unknown for me, obviously I have not done the distance before,” the 30-year-old said.

“Sunday might give us a bit of an idea on potential, but for me, the main goal is to knock out that Olympic standard first and foremost.

“It is good to see Phil already put the time away and be selected. It just gives all the other athletes out there a bit of confidence, seeing how hard he has worked, that we can emulate that and have similar success.”

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