Perhaps not race but genetics do matter in races

Hassan was up against three Kenyans – Hellen Obiri, Agnes Jebet Tirop, and Lilian Kasait Rengeruk – and three Ethiopians: Gudaf Tsegay, Ejgayehu Taye, and Senbere Teferi. Obiri, is a two-time world champion, between them Tsegay, Taye, and Teferi have run three of the 10 fastest times in history. It was one of the strongest 5,000m fields put together and Hassan,

Hassan is Dutch of Ethiopian birth and extraction.

(Northern) Kenyans and Ethiopians are not the same tribe, we’d not describe them as a race either. But a grouping – Cushitic, Nilotic-Cushitic, summat like that, and not Bantu – which dominates middle and long distance running in a manner that West African heritage does sprint – even though it was an Italian this time.

Race, eh, but genes do matter.

Where does the line come from, “But our ____ did better than your _____”?

8 thoughts on “Perhaps not race but genetics do matter in races”

  1. This is where using the term “black” is derogatory and scientifically illiterate.
    Africa is a big place where its inhabitants have managed to evolve in different places in different ways depending on the conditions.

    It is only in the last generation, with cheap ( not for much longer) air travel and relatively open borders that we find Africans representing NL or Sweden or Denmark and perhaps one of the more surreal examples, the great Merlene Ottey running for Slovenia.

  2. Hassan is Dutch of Ethiopian birth and extraction.

    So, he’s a citizen of the Netherlands but not actually Dutch at all.

  3. Wonder why they evolved that characteristic? Running away from lions perhaps. Or chasing their dinner?

  4. @Jonathan. She, and she is very much dutch. Being “dutch” is a mindset, not an (ex-)nationality.
    It’s like “being british”, only far superior.. 😛

    @Otto More than “the last generation”, really. Clogland has had a solid “national sponsorship” since the 50/60’s, including a serious set of facilities and all the whistles and bells that go with that.
    There’s a surprising amount of international athletes frolicking around “in the wild” in places because of that.
    Some of them like it so much here they naturalise. It happens.

  5. @Boganboy: “Wonder why they evolved that characteristic?”

    While it may have evolved for a purpose, remember that humans originated in Africa, so there is a lot of genetic variation there. It could be just a chance mutation which persists because it is not harmful, but doesn’t spread as it is not very useful either.

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