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Every race is good training for the Worlds: Muktar Edris

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Muktar Edris took everyone by surprise when he beat legend Mo Farah in the 5000m final at the 2017 World Championship in the UK. Two years later, he clinched the title once again, showing how he is ready to become the new king in the discipline.

The 28-year old, who is the youngest in the family of three sisters and four brothers, comes from a humble background, and has it in him to create a legacy of his own. But the athlete has had a fair share of struggle too before his rise. The Ethiopian trained without shoes at the beginning and only got to run in shoes when he was around ten years old.

The long distance runner has come a long way since his first cross country race in Spain, where he finished seventh in 2011. He has won a number of titles in the last decade and will be looked upon as a serious contender for a third straight 5000m title in Eugene. Before the World Championship in the US in July, Edris is aiming to strike another gold in the World 10K in Bengaluru on Sunday.

The runner has been troubled by muscle injury in the past, and hopes that it does not pose an obstacle in the races leading up to the Worlds. He has had issues with his abductor — inside right thigh — and now he has issues on the outside. “It has been good for the last two to three weeks. Hmmm, now 90% all good with the injury,” said Edris, whose hero is Haile Gebrselassie, who won back-to-back gold medals in the 10,000m at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

The World 10K race will be Edris’ last road race before turning his attention to a couple of Diamond League track races and then to the Worlds. “I hope to better my timing in Eugene (Worlds). Injury is a problem but I will try,” said Edris. “Yeah, this (World 10K) is preparation for the next competition. Every race is preparation for the next. Every race is good for me, it’s like hard training, tempo and kick training. I will participate in the Rome and Paris Diamond Leagues . These races are all training for the Worlds.”

Though he is an established star in the 5000m, he is one of the long-distance runners, who has featured in cross country, half marathons, 10,000m among other races. When he takes to the elite field in the men’s 10K, Edris, who has a personal best of 27.57, will be eager to improve his timing in the competitive field as well. He is coming into the race with an impressive first position finish (in 10k) at the Carrera Internacional Noche de San Antón, Jaen in Spain in March, clocking 28.31. “My previous races over 10km on the road have been tough courses, often in Italy, where it has been difficult to run fast times. However, this looks like a fast course where I can run a personal best,” said Edris.

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