Leila, Liina, and Lily Luik aren't likely to medal at this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, but that won't stop them from making history while they're there.
The Estonian triplets have all qualified for the marathon event, and all three are expected to compete in the race when it's held on Aug. 14 at Sambodromo. Once they cross the starting line, according to Reuters, the Luiks will become the first set of identical triplets to compete against each other at the same Games.
And while that alone is remarkable enough on its own, the trio's presence in Rio is made even more impressive by the fact that the 30-year-old sisters didn't seriously take up running until they were 24.
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"We have been active since childhood, we love dancing, we love to be active and this pushed us to professional sports," Lily Luik, the youngest of the sisters, told Reuters. "After one year we had good results in Estonia and we thought we could achieve something good also outside of Estonia and to do some big competitions like European Championships and the Olympic games."
In order to qualify for the Olympics, female runners must log an official time of 2 hours 45 minutes or better.
Lily qualified with a personal best time of 2:40:30 at the Valencia marathon in Spain in November. Liina qualified with a time of 2:39:42, also a personal record, at the world championships in Beijing last August. Leila was the final Luik to qualify, with a time of 2:42:11 in Hamburg, Germany, in April, however her PR came in 2013, when she ran the Shanghai marathon in 2:37:11.
See Lily, Liina and Leila Luik run.— AJ+ (@ajplus) May 26, 2016
Estonia's marathon triplets are prepping for the upcoming Río Olympics. pic.twitter.com/FXidwTYnL2
Rio Olympics: Estonian identical triplets Luik sisters set to make Olympics history https://t.co/QmI3IiBptT— Franco (@TandJPF) May 27, 2016
Meet the triplets set to make history in the Olympic marathon: Leila, Liina and Lily Luik are believed to be the… https://t.co/4ZaeHNEMoO— Fairfax County News (@fairfaxctynews) May 27, 2016
By comparison, Ethiopia's Tiki Gelana, the gold medalist in the women's marathon at the 2012 Olympics in London, finished with a time of 2:23:07, with the silver and bronze medalists clocking in at 2:23:12 and 2:23:29, respectively. That wouldn't seem to bode well for the Luiks in Brazil, but with the Games just over two months out, they don't seem deterred.
"It would be great," one Luik told Reuters (whose reporter can hardly be blamed for not knowing which sister he was talking to) when asked about winning a medal. "It's like our dream, and we know that we have to live in reality. It is very hard to compete against the Kenyan runners. We are not at the same kind of level as they are now, but in two or three years we can do that."