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Marathon runner Amanal Petros on people's selfishness: "Why don't we help each other?"

2022-08-14T11:45:57.056Z

Marathon runner Amanal Petros on people's selfishness: "Why don't we help each other?" Created: 08/14/2022, 13:35 By: Nico-Marius Schmitz, Günter Klein "I feel fit": Amanal Petros reaches for the European Championship medal in Munich. © imago Amanal Petros came to Germany from Ethiopia at the age of 16. The marathon runner about Germany, children in Kenya and his family in Tigray. Munich – Am



Marathon runner Amanal Petros on people's selfishness: "Why don't we help each other?"

Created: 08/14/2022, 13:35

By: Nico-Marius Schmitz, Günter Klein

"I feel fit": Amanal Petros reaches for the European Championship medal in Munich.

© imago

Amanal Petros came to Germany from Ethiopia at the age of 16.

The marathon runner about Germany, children in Kenya and his family in Tigray.

Munich – Amanal Petros was born in Eritrea in 1995 and grew up without a father.

As a two-year-old boy, he fled with his mother to a small village in Tigray, Ethiopia.

Petros works in the fields until, at the age of 16, he decides to flee again.

Alone, to Germany.

Petros ends up in accommodation for asylum seekers in Bielefeld, completes his high school diploma and answers 30 out of 33 questions correctly in the naturalization test.

At the same time, he discovered his passion for running.

Under legendary trainer Tono Kirschbaum, Petros is developing into the fastest German marathon runner of all time and will take part in the 2021 Olympic Games.

Before the European Championships in Munich (the men's marathon final starts on Monday, 11:30 a.m.) Petros talks to our newspaper about sleepless nights, coke for children in Kenya and the selfishness of the people.

Amanal Petros, you are currently in Kenya for an altitude training camp.

You only travel to Munich shortly before the competition.

Isn't that risky?

We train here at 2300 meters altitude.

We run 210 to 220 kilometers a week.

That's a huge challenge.

But I'm a person who can fly straight from a height to a competition.

I like it. My body is used to it.

If I'm back in Germany two weeks before the competition, I don't get along well with it.

In Tokyo you ran at the top for a long time, but then collapsed.

What tactics have you considered for Munich?

I want to approach Munich wisely.

I'm not going to run up front like I did at the Olympics.

I just wanted to show myself with the top stars.

Show that I can keep up.

It was a valuable experience that gave me more self-confidence.

In Munich I see myself in the middle field.

But of course not too far behind.

If the pace is too slow for me, I will go forward and attack.

So is a medal the goal?

When I was still running the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, we had a competition every month.

Now twice a year.

You don't always know where you stand in comparison.

With my best time, I'm the third best starting in Munich.

But I feel fit.

Of course I go to the starting line to want to win.

You once said that you always want to win for your family.

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This is an enormous burden.

I just don't know how they are doing in Tigray.

There's no electricity, so you can't call anyone, and letters don't arrive either.

Internet is out of the question, you can't use cars.

Actually everything is destroyed.

I admire the people there who are still fighting.

Although everything is taken from them.

The thoughts of it bother me every day.

That takes a lot of strength from me.

I try to exercise so much that I get tired.

Then you can sleep a bit.

When was the last time you heard from your mother and sister?

You can not do anything.

Don't send money.

You are helpless.

I had no contact with them for two years, four months and nine days.

I count every day

i am a positive person

You might not always see the pain on my happy face.

I want the best for myself, my job, my life.

But once I have a moment to think about all of this, it's just hard.

The war in Ukraine will probably make it even more difficult for you to ignore everything.

I'm not just thinking about my region.

It's not just about my homeland.

Ukraine, Palestine, Afghanistan... It's about us all having to be there for each other together.

I would like to tell an example.

gladly

.

When Corona started, it was extremely difficult for us.

When we heard that someone had Corona, we sometimes ran away.

We wore three masks on top of each other.

We had a refugee from Afghanistan who had Corona pretty early on.

But nobody wanted to help him, not even the doctors.

He just wasn't treated.

He was home alone for two days.

At some point he went out to go shopping.

What should he have done?

He probably infected other people as well.

But, if we had helped him, this would not have happened.

Too often we only think of ourselves.

We think: We're fine, so everything's fine.

I have my family, I have my car, I have my house.

I don't care what happens out there.

If I have nothing to eat, if I'm hungry, it's obvious

that I'll come to you the next day and ask: Let's share.

Why can't we help ourselves from the beginning?

We are selfish.

We have enough to support other people.

You yourself set a good example in Kenya and support social projects for children.

I'm not ultra rich.

I earn money for myself and my life.

I don't need a house or a car.

I have enough to eat.

I have an apartment where I can sleep comfortably.

I have health insurance so I can be sick.

I can make the children in Kenya happy with 100 shillings (82 cents).

I can make her laugh with it.

I can give them hope for just a moment.

For one euro.

For that I can buy a football that they play with for a year.

In our village back then we didn't have anything either.

I can remember very well how happy it made me when we got something for free.

My coach bought sweets here and gave them out to the kids.

You were so happy.

How important is coach Tono Kirschbaum for you?

He's like a father to me.

Tono took me in, paved the way for me.

He's a very strict coach.

But as soon as the training is over, he becomes likeable (laughs).

What were your thoughts when you fled to Germany at the age of 16?

I believed in a better future for me.

I wanted to be a better person, achieve many things.

I had no reason to look back.

I got everything I needed here.

My supervisors helped me with the apartment, they took me to school.

I could meet nice girls, make friends.

The democracy in Germany, this freedom here, made me strong.

Was your arrival in Germany made easy?

The club welcomed me as if I were their son.

I just got lucky.

I didn't have any bad experiences with racism here.

But I also think I was likeable from the beginning until now (smiles).

Of course, I also know that racism is everywhere.

This is easy to read, especially on social media.

Does that affect you personally?

I've been on the Tagesschau two or three times.

Then, of course, it is mentioned "He came as a refugee...".

In the comment section you will already see some people writing unpleasant things.

But I try not to pay attention to it.

I don't give an answer either, no matter what they write.

I am German, Germany changed my life.

i am self employed

When people write stuff like that, it doesn't bother me.

I know exactly, they write that because they don't know me.

You only hear the word "refugee".

They don't know my background, who I am, what I've achieved.

Let's get back to Munich.

Have you already imagined what the run will be like for you?

I have so many friends in Munich who are waiting for me on the track.

I'll have to put something in my ears to keep my head from exploding (laughs).

It will be amazing, I'm incredibly happy.

You can't imagine how much I'm looking forward to Munich.

Interview: Günter Klein and Nico-Marius Schmitz

Source: merkur

All sports articles on 2022-08-14

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