U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Third Place Finisher Leonard Korir To Run 2024 Paris Olympics

By Chris Chavez

June 6, 2024

After months of stress and uncertainty, U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials third place finisher Leonard Korir will run in the Olympic Marathon on Aug. 10th at the Summer Games in Paris.

Leonard KorirLeonard Korir

Kevin Morris / @KevMoFoto

Here’s what you need to know:

– Earlier this week, World Athletics added a few spots to the Olympic marathon and informed USA Track and Field. No specific reason as to why they added spots has been shared yet. CJ Albertson, who was ranked 84th, was in the Road to Paris quota that qualified for the Olympics. USATF informed World Athletics that they are reallocating the spot to Korir via World Athletics’ quota reallocation rule. USATF selects its team with the marathon trials and honors the finishing order from Orlando to select its team. Korir finished third and Albertson finished fifth. Because Korir had run under 2:11:30 within the qualifying window, he was eligible for selection. In short, Albertson unlocked the third spot for the Olympics and Korir was eligible to take it.

"We are happy that it looks like he will go pending final confirmation,” USATF's Director of Long Distance Running Amy Begley told CITIUS MAG. “USATF has been fighting on his behalf. It was a team effort that included USATF's High Performance and International Teams, Division, Max Siegel, Renee Washington, Willie Banks, David Katz and others."

– On Thursday, World Athletics confirmed Korir will be reallocated to the third U.S. spot. The Road to Paris list should reflect the change in early July.

– This will be Korir’s second Olympics. He represented the United States in the 10,000m at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. In 2020, he finished fourth at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and missed the team for Tokyo by just three seconds.

– Last month, Korir, his coach and U.S. running fans were taken by surprise when World Athletics added 11 universality spots to the Road to Paris list of qualified athletes and bumped him out of the projected Olympic marathon field of 80 runners. Korir, who did not meet the 2:08:10 qualifying time for Paris, was looking to get in off his world ranking. Training partners Conner Mantz and Clayton Young, who went 1-2 at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 3, had their places solidified on race day since the United States had two spots unlocked for Paris due to their sub-2:08:10 performances at the Chicago Marathon last fall. It was not until this week that Korir’s status for Paris was finally cleared up.

– Following the Trials, Korir went to Rotterdam in April in hopes of getting under the Olympic standard but faded in the second half of the race to a 2:12:47 finish.

– Korir has been training for Paris and will be part of the team processing that takes place during the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon later this month.

Leonard KorirLeonard Korir

Kevin Morris / @KevMoFoto

Who Else Was Added To The Olympic Marathon

– Chile’s Hugo Catrileo, South Africa’s Elroy Gelant and Australia’s Liam Adams are also now qualified by World Rankings.

– This will be Adams’ third Olympic marathon. He was 24th at the Tokyo Olympics and 31st at the Rio Olympics. He joins an Aussie team that includes Brett Robinson and Patrick Tiernan.

– Mongolia’s Ser-Od Bat-Ochir has been added as a universality place. The 42-year-old is headed to his sixth Olympic marathon and has not missed a World Championships or Olympics since 2003.

Chris Chavez

Chris Chavez launched CITIUS MAG in 2016 as a passion project while working full-time for Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and grew his humble blog into a multi-pronged media company. He completed all six World Marathon Majors and is an aspiring sub-five-minute miler.