Why East Africans dominate international running


A year ago a team from Glasgow University announced that genetic advantage was not the reason East Africans dominated international running.


Further testing of saliva samples has reversed this preliminary conclusion: the researchers have now isolated a gene that seems particular to elite runners in Ethiopia.


The next stage of the testing will be done in Kenya to see if a similar gene exists in elite athletes.
Both the Kenyans and the Ethiopians share one other characteristic however; nearly all of them ran to school every day.


The expected outcome of all this is genetic screening whereby countries will be able to isolate athletes who had the best chance of an Olympic medal: future funding is likely to be focused on these athletes.


Either that or countries round the world will be racing to be first to scrap their school bus system.