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Lemoncello steps up to marathon

Andrew Lemoncello in the Bank of Scotland Cup at Grangemouth in 2008
Lemoncello plans to concentrate on marathon running

Scotland's Andrew Lemoncello has ditched the 3000m steeplechase for the time being to concentrate on the marathon at the 2012 London Olympics.

Lemoncello, who trains in the US, was back in Scotland to compete in the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country run, where he finished 12th.

"I've not completely given up on the steeplechase," said the 26-year-old.

"But the disappointing performance in Beijing made me focus more on my calling, which is longer distances."

Lemoncello won bronze at the 2008 European Cup but failed to proceed beyond the steeplechase heats in Beijing, a result that made him take stock.

"It helped me make that decision to step up in distance and start building towards the 2012 marathon and 2014 Commonwealths in Glasgow," Lemoncello told BBC Sport.

"Just over a year from now I might do my first marathon. It would be a good time to start then so I can get the hang of the event before London and Glasgow.

"All the training that we do is marathon-orientated anyway so it's just going ahead and doing the race."

The former Scottish young male athlete of the year explained why he has moved Stateside.

Lemoncello said: "I can run at altitude over there and I've got a good training group. It's a more conducive environment to running well.

"When I was in Scotland I was training on my own most of the time, but I had the opportunity to move up to 7,000 feet and everyone knows how beneficial altitude training is and it seems to be working great.

"I'll use this year as a build-up year to get my body used to longer distances. This year for me is less focused.

"Last year was all about the Olympics. It's nice to go into a development phase and do the 10Ks on the track and the half marathons on the road, then next year step it up."

Lemoncello is also anxious to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

"Glasgow would be amazing. I saw the World Cross last year here and the support was incredible," he said.

"From the start to the finish, even though I wasn't running well, everyone was calling my name which really gets the adrenaline pumping.

"You know you're really supported back here. It's really nice to have that. When you're competing on home soil you always raise your game, especially in the big championships."

see also
Masai upstages Twell in Edinburgh
10 Jan 09 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
28 Oct 08 |  Athletics
Contact TV team
08 Apr 08 |  Athletics

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