US-Eritrean Meb K. Has Dinner at the White House

US-Eritrean Meb Keflezghi and his Wife Yordanos Asghedom pose outside the White House
US-Eritrean Meb Keflezghi and his Wife Yordanos Asghedom pose outside the White House

By Scott Douglas,
Eritrean Sport News: Boston champ invited to state dinner after African leaders summit.

Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi and his wife, Yordanos Asgedom, had dinner at the White House Tuesday night at the invitation of President Barack Obama. They were two of roughly 400 guests at a state dinner that followed a meeting of African leaders and American businesses.

“It was a great night,” Keflezighi told Runner’s World Newswire. Keflezighi said when he entered the room, Obama quipped, “Here comes the fast guy.”

Keflezighi and Asgedom sat at the president’s table, with about 20 other guests. Also at the table was former President Jimmy Carter, who ran on the U.S. Naval Academy’s cross country team. Keflezighi said Obama and Carter asked him to describe a typical training week, and that Carter, now 89 years old, asked about cross training. (Keflezighi mentioned ElliptiGO, one of his sponsors.)

Like many Americans who don’t normally follow running, Obama has taken interest in Keflezighi’s Boston victory. He called Keflezighi one day after the race to congratulate him.

Keflezighi, a native of the East African country Eritrea, became a U.S. citizen in 1998.

Keflezighi flew to Washington, D.C. early Tuesday morning from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where on Saturday he had placed 13th at the Beach to Beacon 10K. His next race is the Falmouth Road Race on August 17.

Keflezighi has said his serious build-up for November 2’s New York City Marathon will begin after Falmouth. That means he could enjoy last night’s dessert, fudge cake with vanilla from Madagascar.

There are several photos from the evening, including shots of Keflezighi with Secretary of State John Kerry and Carter, on Keflezighi’s Facebook page.

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