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Ser-Od Bat-Ochir of Mongolia Returns to the World Championship

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Nonetheless, he is aware of that making it to the Paris Video games subsequent 12 months can be one other problem. He’s, in some methods, a sufferer of his personal success. It’s all relative, however marathoning in Mongolia has develop into extra fashionable thanks partly to Ser-Od. He recalled visiting Ulaanbaatar this spring — he nonetheless has a house there — and getting stopped for selfies.

“Oh, it’s Ser-Od!” he recalled folks shouting.

In a improvement that may have been unthinkable a number of years in the past, there at the moment are 4 Mongolian males who’re aggressive sufficient to race at occasions just like the world championships. The issue is that the nation can ship solely three of them to main worldwide competitions.

In actual fact, Ser-Od thought he was at risk of lacking out on Budapest. After he positioned twenty sixth at final 12 months’s world championships in Eugene, Ore., accidents hindered his coaching. In consequence, his nationwide rating slipped to fourth. After an unspectacular end result on the Copenhagen Marathon in Might, he braced himself for the worst.

“We sort of thought, Eh, that’s most likely it,” Larner mentioned. “However there was a miracle.”

It turned out that one in all Ser-Od’s Mongolian rivals had raced poorly in Copenhagen. The nation’s athletics federation subsequently awarded its ultimate spot on this planet championships to Ser-Od.

“It was fortunate,” Larner mentioned. “Very fortunate.”

After all, there’s nothing improper with somewhat luck, particularly after so a few years of exhausting work. Towards all odds, Ser-Od’s end nonetheless appears distant.

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