Will Lilesa manage to finish London Marathon 2017 in style?
Feyisa Lilesa, Rio Olympic Marathon silver medalist, now exiled and based in Arizona, is running London Marathon 2017 this Sunday. He reunited with his family at Florida International Airport on valentines day this year after six months as he refused to go back to Ethiopia after Rio Olympic fearing for his life.
Ethiopia’s greatest long distance runner, Kenenisa Bekele, is taking part.
They live different political convictions. Consequently, they have different levels of sensitivities to what is going on in Ethiopia.
Despite widespread government killings and gross human rights violations, Kenenisa is not just insensitive but he even seem to hail the government. Lilesa is a vocal critic and now he is known for it the world over.
The BBC reported that Feyisa Lilesa has plans to show protest sign against the government in Ethiopia. What that means is that he needs to win the prestigious London marathon for him to get a prime spot to demonstrate his protest sign.
The problem is Kenenisa, although he dropped out Dubai Marathon in his last appearance, might not be an easy challenge for Lilesa.
Kenenisa has a marathon time just shy of few seconds from world marathon record.
Lilesa first showed the protest “X” sign as he was crossing the finishing line of Rio Marathon. He also showed it in a half marathon and marathon events in the United States.
The BBC quoted Lilesa as saying “blood is flowing” as an explanation for his plan to show protest sign again at the London Marathon this Sunday.
It remains to be seen if Lilesa could claim title at the London Marathon 2017 and seize the moment to get across his political message to the world.
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