‘African runners are excelling because they are natural athletes’, Gebre-Egziabher Gebremariam

Gebre-Egziabher GebremariamNew Delhi, (Dec 15, 2009) – World champion cross country runner Gebre-Egziabher Gebremariam said that African runners are natural athletes and that is what is helping them to excel in long and middle distance running events, reported IANS. 

“All over the world, African runners are making living out of running – thanks to the environment in which they grow up. All top African runners basically coming from poor countries and small villages. While they are growing up, they have to walk miles to go to school or to other places. This helps them to become natural athletes and that is the main reason why they are excelling in middle and long distance running,” said Gebremariam at the Global Sports Conference, Turf 2009, organized by FICCI here Tuesday. 

Gebremariam said that runners from Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia are now hot favorites to win the big money marathons, which are held all over the world. 

“Running has been a profitable career for us. We don’t need to invest anything to be a good runner. You have to just put on your running shoes and run for hours. While for footballers it needs lot of infrastructure for training,” he said. 

Gebremariam pointed out that African countries have now taken over from traditional athletics powerhouses like Europe and the US. 

“American athletes are made in gyms while Africans are born on roads,” he said.