Israeli runner Gashau Ayale sets new national record in marathon

An impressive achievement: Israeli runner finishes third in the Seville Marathon with a time of 2:04.53 - and secures his place in the Paris Olympics; 'The dream of every athlete'

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Israeli runner Gashau Ayale set a new national marathon record Sunday morning when he stopped the clock at 2:04:53 hours as part of the Seville Marathon, a result that earned him third place in the prestigious race and a ticket to the Paris Olympics.
In the exact same marathon last year, Ayale set the previous national record of 2:05:33 when he finished in fourth place. On Sunday morning, he improved his Israeli record by 40 seconds.
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In doing so, Ayale secured his place in the marathon at the Olympic Games in Paris among the Israeli runners. Israel's marathon record holder joins Maru Teferi, who has already secured his place following his historic silver medal at the World Championships in Budapest.
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גשאו איילה
גשאו איילה
Gashau Ayale set a new Israeli marathon record in Seville
(Photo: Athletics Association )
"I am so happy to get the ticket to the Olympic Games, and also with a new Israeli record. There is no one more excited and happy than me," Ayale said, adding: "It is the dream of every athlete to reach the Olympics. It is a great privilege to represent the country, especially these days and during the difficult time that the people of Israel Passing. I look forward to wearing the uniform of the Israeli national team and running through the streets of Paris with the Israeli flag on my chest. I promise to do my best and represent the country with honor."
The fight for the third and last Israeli berth to the Olympic marathon continues, with the two runners competing for it being Girma Amara and Aimro Alamia. Amara's best time is 2:05:52 hours, and Alamia's is 2:06:04 hours. The trio to be sent to the Paris Olympics will be settled after the Tokyo Marathon early next month, in which Alamia will participate. Amara gave up running a marathon and will run the Lisbon Half Marathon in mid-March. The one with the fastest result will be the third representative in Paris.

Late-blooming talent

Ayala's story is nothing less than wonderful. His medal in 2022 in Munich, for example, came almost out of nowhere. It was his first international marathon and overall the second marathon in his life. Ayale immigrated to Israel in 2010 with his five brothers, among them 20-year-old Yehuda (Darba), who ran on his own.
In May 2022, the two brothers made it onto the map of Israeli athletics in the same weekend. Both went to London, and each returned with an Israeli record. Gashau participated in the European Cup competition in the 10,000 meters: it was a historic run on an Israeli scale - after decades of trying, a runner in blue and white broke the 28-minute barrier. Gashau set a time of 27:49.88 minutes, and there is no doubt that this record will be improved.
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גשאו איילה על הפודיום
גשאו איילה על הפודיום
Gashau Ayale on the podium
(Photo: Getty Images)
One of the main reasons for Gashau's relatively late discovery lies in the fact that he only started playing athletics at the age of 18.
"Until then, I was at a boarding school in the north and our head was in soccer," he previously told Ynet in an interview. "I didn't join an official soccer team at the time. During one of the vacations in the area, they convinced me to start athletics. For two years I was at the alley club in Tel Aviv with coach Yuval Karmi. Then Maccabi Tel Aviv took me and I trained with Dan Salpeter. For the last two years I have been with Yossef Gezachw, who does a wonderful job with me as with everyone else at Maccabi Tel Aviv."
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