Updated December 23, 2020, 5:39 am
Bochum (dpa) – Running is currently only a minor matter for Amanal Petros – and a distraction. Germany’s new marathon record holder is desperately looking for his mother and two sisters, who have disappeared in the Ethiopian war region of Tigray. The 25-year-old has not had any contact for seven weeks.
“My family is a part of my life, I also feel great pain, I am very worried. It’s bad what happens there. Innocent people are killed there,” complained Petros in an interview with the German press agency.
The three women could have been in Sudan by now, in a refugee camp. “But I don’t know. The flight itself is a risk,” says the young man. “And for me, too, the risk of going there would be simply too great.” The crisis area is cut off from the outside world, around 70,000 Ethiopians are said to have already fled to neighboring Sudan. Petros turned on the Red Cross, and German friends also help him.
Born in Eritrea, Petros grew up in Ethiopia; In January 2012 he came to Germany as a refugee from Tigray. He was naturalized on October 27, 2015. A good two weeks ago, the athlete from TV Wattenscheid 01 in Valencia improved the German marathon record by 75 seconds to 2:07:18 hours. Petros had already met the standard time for the Olympic Games in Japan last year.