It’s the final day at #Tokyo2020 and what an experience it has been so far! For the Refugee Olympic Team, it’s the turn of Tachlowini Gabriyesos who will be competing in the Men’s Marathon. #cheerforrefugees
In March 2021 in only his second ever competitive marathon race he ran the Olympic qualifying time. He was selected as one of 29 athletes across 12 disciplines to represent the refugee Olympic team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He was awarded the honour of being the flag bearer for the Refugee team in the opening ceremony.
Gabriyesos had fled Eritrea at 12 years of age, and headed northwards across Sudan and Egypt where he crossed the Sinai Desert on foot to reach Israel. He lives and trains in Tel Aviv where he runs with the Emek Hefer club, supported by an IOC Refugee Athlete Scholarship. Gabriyesos has competed over 3000m, 5000m, 10,000m, the half marathon and the marathon in 2020 and 2021. He was selected as one of six athletes to compete for the Refugee Team at the Doha 2019 World Athletics Championships where he ran in the 5000m.
In October 2020, he was selected to represent the Refugee Team in the half-marathon world championships in Gdynia, Poland, but visa issues got in the way and he wasn’t able to travel. Two months after that disappointment in Poland, he ran a half-marathon personal best of 1:02:21. Three months later, he ran a 2:10:55 marathon at Hula Lake Park in Israel on 14 March 2021. With that run, Gabriyesos had become the first refugee athlete to clock an Olympic qualifying standard for the Tokyo Games, and it was only the second time he had competed over that distance.
In a field of 109 competitors, Tachlowini Gabriyesos of the Refugee Olympic Team with a time of 2:14:02 finished 16th. This is an excellent result, considering 30 entrants in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Marathon did not finish (on account of the heat).