Ethiopian runner Gebrzihair mocked by internet users claiming she isn’t 16-year-old teenager
Gebrzihair, who according to IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) was born in November 2001, came under fire after internet users suspected a fraud claiming she doesn’t look like a 16-year-old teenager.
The runner was in the spotlight after she finished third in the women’s 5000m event on Tuesday, the opening day of the tournament which kicked off in Finland. However, it was not Gebrzihair’s bronze medal finish, but her appearance which was widely discussed after the event with many journalists doubting that the runner’s real age was 16.
Some athletes even compared the athlete with “a grandmother” mocking that Gebrzihair must have been supported by her grandchildren in the stands.
“Her children/grandchildren in the stands are watching her competing at the U20 World Cup,” wrote Oscar Husillos, a Spanish sprinter who specializes in the 200 and 400 meter events.
Sus hijos/nietos en la grada viendola correr un mundial sub20 https://t.co/bwYIGUjjO7— Oscar Husillos (@oscarhusillos) 11 июля 2018 г.
One twitter user also posted a photo of himself, when he was 16, to contrast it with an image of Gebrzihair who appears to be older.
“16-year-old” Ethiopian world 5000m U-20 bronze medallist Girmawit Gebrzihair VS 16-year-old Alex Cyr. Where are her shades? Her Aeropostale t-shirt? AHA! This can only mean one thing.— Alex Cyr (@Cyresy_10) 12 июля 2018 г.
She’s not 16. pic.twitter.com/QM2A509w1C
Soooo... you are telling me that Girmawit Gebrzihair is 16... 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔— zdzisiek ruchała (@zdzisiekruchala) July 12, 2018
Here u go the bit of the day GIRMAWIT GEBRZIHAIR competing in women U20 claiming to be 16 !!!!— Raul Ansari (@kaluo777) July 12, 2018
when i was 16 my friends didnt look like this , how have time changed 🤔🤣👌 pic.twitter.com/4SD5DwYOvr
The IAAF which is in charge of checking the information provided by national federations has not yet commented on the situation surrounding Gebrzihair, whose eligibility to compete has been called into question by many pundits.