Canadian runner Lanni Marchant cleared to race 10,000, marathon double at Rio Olympics

Canadian Lanni Marchant celebrates after crossing the marathon finish line and qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics during the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Toronto, Sunday, Oct, 18, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marta Iwanek

EDMONTON – Lanni Marchant will compete in the women’s marathon as well as the 10,000 metres at the upcoming Rio Games, allowing the Canadian distance runner to race a rare Olympic double.

Athletics Canada announced its track and field team for the Rio Games today, and the London, Ont., runner is slotted to compete in both high-profile distance events.

Marchant, who holds the Canadian record in the women’s marathon, said she was originally told her focus at Rio would be on the 10,000 metres.

Canadian teammates Natasha Wodak, left, and Lanni Marchant, second left, run in the women’s 10000m final during the athletics competition at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Thursday, July 23, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

She said while Athletics Canada didn’t gave her a firm “no” on running the marathon, she wasn’t on the original list when determining the marathon team for Rio.

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Advocates for the runner stepped up with a social media campaign that included an online petition and tweets with the hashtag “#LetLanniRun.”

Marchant is part of Athletics Canada’s 65-athlete team which is considered one of the strongest ever to represent Canada at a Games.

Canada’s Lanni Marchant celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the women’s 10,000 meter run at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, Thursday, July 23, 2015. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Other prominent athletes include star sprinter Andre De Grasse, world high jump champion Derek Drouin, pole vault world champion Shawn Barber, heptathlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton and decathlete Damian Warner.

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