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Former Arizona star Abdi Abdirahman qualifies for Olympic marathon

abdi-abdirahman-arizona-wildcats-marathon-olympics-tokyo-2020-trials-atlanta-tucson-somalia Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

One of the most accomplished runners in Arizona Wildcats history has earned a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Abdi Abdirahman, the 1998 Pac-10 cross country champion, finished third at the U.S. Marathon Trials on Saturday in Atlanta. The top three placers will make up Team USA in Japan this summer.

It will be the fifth Olympics for the 43-year-old Abdirahman, who was born in Somalia but moved to the United States in the 1990s, graduating from Tucson High in 1995 and starting his college career at Pima Community College before running for the UA from 1997-99. He became a U.S. citizen in 2000 and competed for his adopted country at the Olympics in 2000, 2004 and 2008 in the 10,000-meter run.

Abdirahman qualified for the 2012 Olympics in the marathon but withdrew from the event midway through because of a knee injury.