Another four years have passed since the 2016 Rio Olympics, which means the Summer Olympics have returned. This year, they will be held in Tokyo, Japan. This year, American long-distance runner Galen Rupp, who received a bronze medal in Rio, has once again qualified for the races at the age of 33.
Rupp’s qualification comes after a rough Achilles tendon injury in the fall of 2018, which resulted in him getting a surgery after his strong 5th place finish given his circumstances (his injury slowed him down towards the end) in the Chicago Marathon on October 19th, 2018. However, he had to miss the entire 2019 spring marathon season.
Certainly, Rupp did not qualify in a close call. In fact, he beat second placer Jake Riley by 43.50 seconds with a time of 2:09:20. Despite his injury, he was able to beat his qualifying time for Rio in 2016 by nearly two minutes. Although this time is not at his personal best of 2:06:07, it is still an impressive feat.
This qualification marks the fourth time Rupp has qualified for the Olympics and the second time he has been the winner of the qualifier race. However, it is not certain that he will even race this time around given the recent COVID-19 pandemic that has affected over 100 countries including the United States and Japan, where the Olympics are being held this year.
Hopefully, Rupp will continue to build on his times and pull off another medal in Tokyo (if it is not cancelled).