Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila started E. Africa’s aristocracy in marathon

Abebe Bikila

Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila started East Africa’s dominance of the marathon. In 1964, Abebe became the first of only two people in history to defend his Olympic marathon title.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • He was the first among the pantheon of runners – described by athlete and sports writer Kenny Moore as “the great African distance running avalanche” - of which Cheruiyot and Kipchoge are the current world stars.

Eliud Kipchoge and Vivian Cheruiyot’s victories in last Sunday’s London Marathon reminded the world who royalty is over this distance. But royalty is about lineage and it all started somewhere in the misty past.

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