Estonia's Olympic triplets
Estonia's olympic team female marathon runners triplets (L-R) Lily, Liina and Leila Luik run during a training session in Tartu. The women will make Olympics history when they cross the start line for the women's marathon in Rio. Twins competing in...more
The blond, blued-eyed sisters from the southern Estonian university town of Tartu, now 30 years old, only took up serious distance running when they were 24. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
"We have been active since childhood, we love dancing, we love to be active and this pushed us to professional sports," Lily (R) said. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
Liina (C), who got the sisters to start running, said that long-distance running appealed to them more than the highly technical nature of sprinting. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
After a couple of years, they realized they were good enough to take part in international competitions. They decided to try for the Olympics, adopting the slogan "Trio to Rio" to give shape to their hopes of all three competing in the Olympics. ...more
"We saw ... after one year we had good results in Estonia and we thought we could achieve something good also outside of Estonia and to do some big competitions like European Championships and the Olympic games," Lily (C) said. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
In competition, the sisters say they support each other emotionally and even in race tactics, such as taking it in turns to act as wind breakers. The sisters live separately in Estonia and sometimes have to train apart. But they regularly spend...more
"It is boring to train alone," said Leila (L). REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
The sisters are not favored to end up on the podium at Rio. Kenyan superstar Tiki Gelana set the Olympic record of 2 hours, 23 minutes and 7 seconds in London in 2012. By contrast, Leila (L), the oldest of the triplets, has the fastest personal best...more
All three said their goal for the Rio games was to finish together, to set personal bests and to finish with a smile. Asked if they expected to bring home an Olympic medal, all three chimed in. "It would be great ... it's like our dream, and we know...more
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