Ethiopian runner Girmawit Gebrzihair is centre of a social media backlash for looking older than her age, after winning bronze in the 5,000m race at the World Under-20 Championships.
According to IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) records, Gebrizihair was born on 10 November 2001. Despite the backlash, nobody has come out with any form of evidence proving otherwise.
Among those to question the runners age was Spanish sprinter Oscar Husillos, who has since been criticised for his tweet that read: “her children/grandchildren in the stands watching her run a world cup U20”.
Husillos has since said: “In reference to an old somewhat controversial Tweet that I think was gone a bit of context. I do not know if there is a story behind the athlete, simply without knowing the story has attracted my attention to the images as many others. Words have been misinterpreted, and for nothing I was laughing at that athlete or putting in evidence the IAAF by its rules or its way of controlling such things. And of course, I think that both the IAAF Ethiopian Athletics Federation strictly complies with the age standards imposed.”
Other Twitter users have also jumped to Gebrizihair’s defence, claiming the cyber bullying on Twitter was unfair. One user wrote: “When is bullying EVER ok? I encourage each of you to run a 5000m race and have your photo taken and let’s see how you look. Great job Girmawit Gebrzihair!”