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