Meb Keflezighi looking to race Olympics at 41

Meb Keflezighi, the 2014 winner, passes the trophy to 2015 champion Lelisa Desisa.
Meb Keflezighi, the 2014 winner, passes the trophy to 2015 champion Lelisa Desisa.
Meb Keflezighi, the 2014 winner, passes the trophy to 2015 champion Lelisa Desisa.

Meb Keflezighi, who competed in his first Olympics fifteen years ago, has in earlier months noted his intention to try and qualify for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro  Olympics, but this week moved a step closer to racing the marathon next summer in Brazil by registering for the 2016 US Olympic Trials in Los Angeles next February.

Keflezighi and Shalane Flanagan became the first male and female to register for the trials, meaning the Eritrean-born American would be 41 racing in the Olympics if he qualifies for the team. And he has a good shot at it. Keflezighi has been near the top of US distance running for a long time, even winning an Olympic silver medal in the marathon at the 2004 Games in Athens, but seems to be towards his best today, at 40. At age 39, he won the 2014 Boston Marathon in a personal best and continues to win competitive races.

“It is with great excitement that I officially announce my plan to compete at the 2016 Olympic Trials in Los Angeles,” said Keflezighi in a press release. “As a product of San Diego, and UCLA, I am looking forward to competing in front of family and friends. It would be a great honor to make my fourth Olympic Team, but I know the competition will be very strong.”

The US marathon trials will be held on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, one day before the Los Angeles Marathon. The 2016 Olympic will begin Aug. 5 of next summer.