The Moroccan-born Khalid Khannouchi was sworn in as a United States citizen in Houston yesterday, making the marathon world record-holder eligible to compete in Sunday's US Olympic trials for the event.
Khannouchi may run in this weekend's marathon at Pittsburgh or wait until July and compete in the 10,000m in the US Olympic trials.
Citizenship has been Khannouchi's goal since leaving Morocco in 1993. He settled in New York and three years later, married Sandra Inoa, an American runner.
"Running for the US means a lot to me," he said last year. "I've got everything in the US. I want to give something back. I love my country, but I decided not to run for Morocco."
Khannouchi qualified for citizenship under a law that enables spouses of US citizens working abroad for an American company to achieve citizenship regardless of the three-year residency requirement. Last month, his wife accepted a job overseas with a US firm.
* A young female Czech athlete died yesterday after being hit and severely injured by a hammer thrown during a meet in Turnov, around 60 miles north of Prague. Zuzana Krejcova, aged 18, was sitting on the field when the hammer accidentally struck her on the head.Reuse content