'It's not about me'- Kenyan-born American reacts after earning Olympic slot to represent team USA

'It's not about me'- Kenyan-born American reacts after earning Olympic slot to represent team USA

Abigael Wafula 07:42 - 13.06.2024

The long-distance runner has explained why it means a lot to make the cut to the marathon team at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Kenyan-born American Leonard Korir has disclosed what it means to finally get a chance to represent Team USA in the men’s marathon at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Korir was uncertain on going to the global bonanza but after World Athletics updated its Road to Paris list with the news that the United States had been awarded a third spot in Paris, he is now sure of competing at the event.

He missed out on making the Olympic team at the delayed 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games and qualifying for the event in Paris means a lot to him. He also represented the US on the track at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

“I wanted to make the team so bad because I had worked hard for it and I was hopeful and praying to make the team. I’m excited and ready to go.

“It’s not about me. It’s about representing other people who are looking up to me. I’m so happy. I’m grateful. I can’t wait to represent @TeamUSA and represent the @USArmy too.

“If you make the Olympics while in the Army, it’s a huge accomplishment. Making these Olympics is not only for me, it’s about people serving in the Army,” Korir said in an interview with Citius Mag.

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Initially, it was unclear why the US and three other countries were granted world-ranking spots in the field. According to Letsrun.com, a World Athletics spokesperson explained why they expanded the field, saying: “World Athletics has always aimed to have the top 80 marathon runners from around the world competing at the Olympic Games.

“At the end of the qualification period, the IOC added the universality places, which initially replaced some of the athletes hoping to qualify via the World Rankings.

“Following a thorough analysis of athletes intending to participate in more than one event — it was determined that the quota would allow for some additional athletes to participate in the marathon.

“Subsequently, five additional athletes were offered places; however, one member federation / NOC declined the opportunity, therefore four appear on the Road to Paris.”