Trio to Rio! Blonde identical triplets are set to make history as ALL THREE vie for gold in the 2016 Olympic marathon

  • Leila, Liina and Lily Luik are from the Estonian town of Tartu
  • The triplets will compete in the Rio 2016 Olympic marathon
  • They have set up a Facebook page called Trio to Rio to gain support
  • See more news on the Rio Olympics 2016 at www.dailymail.co.uk/rio2016

A set of blonde-haired, blue-eyed triplets from Estonia will make history this summer as they all vie for gold in the Rio 2016 Olympic marathon.

Leila, Liina and Lily Luik are believed to be the first identical triplets to compete against each other in the Games's 120-year history.

The sisters, from the southern Estonian university town of Tartu, aged 30, have set up a Facebook page called 'Trio to Rio' to gather supporters in the run up to their 26.2-mile race.

Record setters: (l-r) Lily, Liina and Leila Luik are believed to be the first identical triplets to compete against each other in the games' 120-year history

Record setters: (l-r) Lily, Liina and Leila Luik are believed to be the first identical triplets to compete against each other in the games' 120-year history

Spot the difference: (L-R) Leila, Liina and Lily Luik pose for a picture in their hometown of Tartu, Estonia

Spot the difference: (L-R) Leila, Liina and Lily Luik pose for a picture in their hometown of Tartu, Estonia

Incredibly the three siblings only took up serious distance running six years ago - when they were 24 years old.

'We have been active since childhood, we love dancing, we love to be active and this pushed us to professional sports,' Lily said.

Liina, who got the sisters into running, said that long-distance running appealed to them more than the 'highly technical' nature of sprinting.

After a couple of years, they realised they were good enough to take part in international competitions and from there, they decided to try for the Olympics.

In the spotlight: The sisters from the southern Estonian university town of Tartu, aged 30, have set up a Facebook page called ' Trio to Rio' to gather supporters for their 26.2-mile race

In the spotlight: The sisters from the southern Estonian university town of Tartu, aged 30, have set up a Facebook page called ' Trio to Rio' to gather supporters for their 26.2-mile race

Late starters: Incredibly the three siblings only took up serious distance running when they were 24

Late starters: Incredibly the three siblings only took up serious distance running when they were 24

Sprinting ahead: After a couple of years, they realised they were good enough to take part in international competitions and from there, they decided to try for the Olympics

Sprinting ahead: After a couple of years, they realised they were good enough to take part in international competitions and from there, they decided to try for the Olympics

Family matters: In competition, the sisters say they support each other emotionally and even in race tactics, such as taking it in turns to act as wind breakers

Family matters: In competition, the sisters say they support each other emotionally and even in race tactics, such as taking it in turns to act as wind breakers

Recalling the chain of events, Lily said: 'We saw ... after one year we had good results in Estonia and we thought we could achieve something good also outside of Estonia and to do some big competitions like European Championships and the Olympic Games.'

In competition, the sisters say they support each other emotionally and even in race tactics, such as taking it in turns to act as wind breakers.

The sisters live separately in Estonia and sometimes have to train apart. 

But they regularly spend winters together at a high-altitude training camp in Kenya, and they appear to enjoy each other's company, chatting away while running. 

Commenting on their group outings, Leila said: 'It is boring to train alone.' 

The sisters will travel to northern Italy in June for intense training sessions until they head to Rio for the games, which run from August 5 to 21.

Jam-packed schedule: The sisters will all be training in northern Italy from June until they head to Rio for the games which run from August 5 to 21

Jam-packed schedule: The sisters will all be training in northern Italy from June until they head to Rio for the games which run from August 5 to 21

Patriotic: (L-R) Leila, Liina and Lily Luik wear socks in Estonia's national colours

Patriotic: (L-R) Leila, Liina and Lily Luik wear socks in Estonia's national colours

Tough race: Despite their determination, the triplets are not favoured to end up on the podium at Rio

Tough race: Despite their determination, the triplets are not favoured to end up on the podium at Rio

All smiles: Leila, the oldest of the triplets (left), has the fastest personal best at 2:37.12, set in Shanghai in 2013

All smiles: Leila, the oldest of the triplets (left), has the fastest personal best at 2:37.12, set in Shanghai in 2013

Despite their determination, the triplets are not favoured to end up on the podium at Rio.

Kenyan superstar Tiki Gelana set the Olympic record of 2 hours, 23 minutes and 7 seconds in London in 2012. 

The silver and bronze medal times were 2:23:12 and 2:23:29.

By contrast, Leila, the oldest of the triplets, has the fastest personal best at 2:37.12, set in Shanghai in 2013. 

She is followed by Liina, whose personal best is 2 minutes and 30 seconds slower and Lily, the youngest, who is a further 45 seconds back. 

Estonia's Olympic team female marathon runners triplets (L-R) Leila, Lily and Liina Luik play with a tech installation after a training session

Estonia's Olympic team female marathon runners triplets (L-R) Leila, Lily and Liina Luik play with a tech installation after a training session

Not long now: The three sisters say their goal for the Rio games is to finish together, set personal bests and to cross the finish line with a smile

Not long now: The three sisters say their goal for the Rio games is to finish together, set personal bests and to cross the finish line with a smile

Moment of reflection: Asked if they expected to bring home an Olympic medal, all three chimed in: 'It would be great . . . it's like our dream, and we know that we have to live in reality'

Moment of reflection: Asked if they expected to bring home an Olympic medal, all three chimed in: 'It would be great . . . it's like our dream, and we know that we have to live in reality'

But it's not about winning for the triplets. All three say their main goal for the Rio games is to finish together, set personal bests and to cross the finish line with a smile.

Asked if they expected to bring home an Olympic medal, all three chimed in.

'It would be great . . . it's like our dream, and we know that we have to live in reality. 

'It is very hard to compete against the Kenyan runners. 

'We are not at the same kind of level as they are now, but in two or three years we can do that.'

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