These Estonian triplets are about to make history at the Rio Olympics

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Estonian Olympic team female marathon runners Lily, Liina, and Leila Luik at a training session in Tartu, Estonia, on Thursday.
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REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Leila, Liina, and Lily Luik are not expected to medal when they compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

But the three Estonian marathon runners will make history as the first set of triplets to compete together.

The triplets, now 30, will race in their first Olympics this summer, despite seriously training for marathon running only since they were 24 years old.

Reuters recently followed the triplets as they trained for the biggest race of their lives.


Meet, from left, Leila, Liina, and Lily Luik.

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REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

They are believed to be the first triplets to compete together in the Olympics.

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REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

The triplets are from Tartu, Estonia’s second-largest city, which is known for its university. Tartu is about 100 miles from Estonia’s capital, Tallinn.

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REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

The 30-year-old sisters took up serious distance running only when they were 24, but now they are headed to the Olympics.

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REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Leila, right, has the fastest personal best of the sisters, according to Reuters, running a 2013 marathon in 2 hours, 37 minutes. Liina, center, comes next, followed by Lily, left.

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REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

“We have been active since childhood — we love dancing, we love to be active, and this pushed us to professional sports,” Lily, pictured here in the front, told Reuters.

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REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Liina, in the center here, got the sisters to start running.

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REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

The sisters train together, according to Reuters, spending winters at a high-altitude camp in Kenya. Starting in June, they’ll be training for Rio in Northern Italy.

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REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Rio won’t be their first time competing against one another. Here, Lily, left, and Liina celebrate in 2015 after the 15th IAAF Championships in Beijing.

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REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

When training for the coming Olympics, their slogan was “Trio to Rio” — a goal they will soon achieve.

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REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

For Rio though, all three sisters told Reuters their goal was “to finish together, to set personal bests, and to finish with a smile.”

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REUTERS/Ints Kalnins