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Identical triplets on way to Rio marathon

Published : Jul 18, 2016, 1:28 am IST
Updated : Jul 18, 2016, 1:28 am IST

Countless identical twins have taken part at the same Olympics. But for the first time in the history of the Games, identical triplets will be competing in Rio.

Countless identical twins have taken part at the same Olympics. But for the first time in the history of the Games, identical triplets will be competing in Rio. What is more fascinating is the Luik sisters from Estonia, Leila, Liina and Lily, have qualified for the same event — marathon.

There is, however, little chance for the 30-year-old siblings from the northern European country to finish on the podium because none of them has a personal best that is good enough to win a medal.

Another set of siblings who will hog the limelight in Rio are Britain’s Brownlee brothers — Alistair and Jonny. Alistair, 28, won the triathlon gold in London four years ago and Jonny, two years younger to the champion, finished third.

Although it’s difficult for siblings to win gold medals in individual events at the same Olympics, Leon and Michael Spinks achieved the rare feat in boxing in 1976 as the sport has different weight divisions. Leon clinched gold in the light heavyweight section while his younger brother, Michael, went all the way in middleweight.

At the Beijing Games in 2008, three American siblings took part in taekwondo and all of them went home with a medal. Steven Lopez claimed the bronze while his brother, Mark, and sister, Diana, claimed silver and bronze, respectively.

The Games have thrown up quite a few medalists from the same family. Australian equestrian legend Bill Roycroft and his son, Wayne, have a record that will be difficult to break — both were part of the team that won a bronze medal in 1968 and 1976. Bill’s two other sons also took part in equestrian at the Olympics.

Winning an Olympic hockey medal is a family right for the Kellers of Germany. Andreas Keller emulated his father Carsten’s achievement in 1972 by winning the gold medal in 1992. Andreas’ grandfather, Erwin, was a silver medallist in 1936. The story of the most decorated hockey family in Olympic history isn’t over yet. Andreas’ step sister, Natascha, and step brother, Florian, nailed gold in 2004 and 2008 respectively.

At the Helsinki Olympics in 1952, legendary Czech Republic athlete Emil Zatopek and his wife, Dana, clinched a gold medal each on the same day.

After Zatopek won the 5,000m on July 24, Dana kept the gold medal in her bag for luck before her event, the javelin. She set an Olympic record with her first throw to secure the gold. Emil and Dana also shared the same birthday: 19.09.1922!