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2020 Tokyo Olympics: Abdi Abdirahman becomes the oldest American runner to make it to the Olympic team

  • 43-year old Abdirahman defied all odds to qualify for his fifth Olympic appearance in Tokyo.
Modified 02 Mar 2020, 16:23 IST

Abdi Abdirahman qualifies for his fifth Olympic appearance at the age of 43.
Abdi Abdirahman qualifies for his fifth Olympic appearance at the age of 43.

What’s the story?

 43-year-old U.S marathoner Abdi Abdirahman finished third at the Olympic Marathon trials in Atlanta, thereby securing a berth at his fifth Olympics in the upcoming Tokyo extravaganza.

In case you didn't know...

Abdirahman competed in the 10,000 meters at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games finishing tenth and fifteenth, respectively. In his next Olympic participation in 2008, he again finished at 15th in the 10,000 meters. At the 2012 Olympics, he could not finish the marathon due to a knee injury.

The heart of the matter

Abdirahman who belied his age, clinched the third spot 2:10:03 in the Atlanta race, thereby becoming the oldest American man to seal a place in the US Olympic marathon squad.

Abdirahman told reporters after the marathon, “I never count myself out. Everything worked the way I wanted ... getting third or first, second is the same – we’re all going the same place and we all accomplished the same goals we wanted.”

Before the race, many wondered if the 43-year-old could defy the years and the odds to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.

What’s next?

Abdirahman, who underwent a 12-week training in Ethiopia before the Atlanta marathon, knows that even though the Tokyo Olympics may be his last Olympic appearance it certainly wouldn’t be his last trial. It remains to be seen if he can challenge his age and emerge a medal winner at the upcoming quadrennial event.

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Published 02 Mar 2020, 00:49 IST
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