History was made today in the women’s marathon in Rio as three Estonian sisters became the first triplets to ever compete in an Olympic Games. The Luik sisters, Leila, Liina and Lily, all started the marathon this morning.
The three sisters are known as the “Trio to Rio.” The Luiks only got into running in their mid twenties and made their debut at the Olympic on Sunday. They’re 30 now.
In 2014, the three became the first triplets to compete at the European championships. Leila, the oldest of the three, has a lifetime best of 2:37 in the marathon so they weren’t expected to be in the mix for medals.
The Luiks, however, got plenty of attention and double (or triple) takes from fellow athletes when walking into the dining hall together. The women’s marathon began at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Sunday morning.
Two other pairs of twin sisters were also in the race on Sunday. Germany’s Anna Hahner and Lisa Hahner and North Korea’s Kim Hye-Gyong and Kim Hye-Song.
The Hahner sisters even got the chance to meet the great Haile Gebreselassie, one of the most decorated distance runners in history. Both sisters have strong personal bests in the event including Anna (2:26:44) and Lisa (2:26:44).
The two are the second and third eldest of five siblings, according to the IAAF.
“The best part of running with a twin is you are never on your own,” says Anna. Lisa adds that “we share the same passion for the sport and I know if I am excited, then Anna is excited too and that acts as extra motivation.”
North Korean twins
— Hoy Corremos (@HoyCorremos) October 3, 2014
Kim Hye-Gyong and Kim Hye-Song are fraternal twins. Kim Hye-Gyong has a 2:27 personal best and Kim Hye-Song has a 2:27:58 personal best, according to the women’s marathon start list.
Kim Mi-Gyong, another fast marathon runner in North Korea, has no relation to the twins.