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Continued: Abda's running fast for Gophers after escaping turmoil in Ethiopia

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 8, 2013 - 12:52 AM

Thornton said Abda has room left for improvement, which makes him believe the 23-year-old is capable of competing in the Olympics. But Abda has learned to enjoy the process in a country he has accepted as his own, and that has kept him smiling day after day and running just for fun.

“It was a long journey here for me,” he said. “When we were [in Africa], every day was a fear. Now I have nothing to fear. I can raise my voice and be heard. I can do anything I want. I can be whatever I want to. So being in this country makes me happy every day.”

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  • Gophers runner Harun Abda, who has 16 siblings, likes running in front in races rather than being in the pack. He is a six-time All-America and one of the 800-meter favorites in the Big Ten meet.

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