Rabat - Since 1983, Morocco has won 27 medals in The World Championships in Athletics organized by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Rabat – Since 1983, Morocco has won 27 medals in The World Championships in Athletics organized by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
On the occasion of 15th biannual global track and field championship that is being held in China, MWN remembers 12 athletes who have brought honor to Morocco through their achievements in the IAAF over the past 32 years.
Said Aouita (1 Gold and 1 Bronze)
The former Moroccan track and field athlete who lives now in Orlando, Florida, was the first Moroccan to win a medal in the World Championships in Athletics.
At the 1983 World Championships in Athletics: Saïd Aouita won a bronze medal in the 5000 meter race in Helsinki, bestowing on Morocco its very first medal in the IAAF World Championships.
Fouryears later in 1987, Aouita won the title for the 5000 meters at the 1987 World Championships in Athletics in Rome. Thanks to the Aouita’s gold medal, Morocco ranked in 9th place that year.
Said Aouita is a former world record holder in the1500 meters (3:29.45 minutes), 2000 meters (4:50.80), 3000 meters (7:29.46), and (twice)in the 5000 meters (13:00.40 and 12:58.39).
Hicham El Guerrouj (5 gold 1 silver)
Often dubbed as the “king of the mile,” Hicham El Guerrouj won his first medal, a silver medal, at the IAAF World Championships in 1995 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Two years later, he won a gold medal in the 1,500 meters at the 1997 the IAAF World Championships in Athens, Greece.
In 1999, Hicham El Guerrouj won his second gold medal for the 1500 meters at the IAAF World Championships, winning a world record score (3:27.65).
The Berkane native who is considered by many to be “the greatest middle distance runner of all time,” also won another gold medal in 1500 meters at the 8th World Championships in Athletics, held in Edmonton, Canada, in 2001.
At the 2003 World Championships in Paris, Hicham El Guerrouj won two other gold medals for both the 1500 meters and 5000 meters.
Last year, Moroccan athlete Hicham El Guerrouj became the youngest man to be inducted in the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) hall of fame.
Nezha Bidouane (2 gold and 1 silver)
Nezha Bidouane who specialized in the 400 meter hurdles, became the first Moroccan woman to win a gold medal at the World Championships in Athens in 1997 when she defeated the then Olympic champion Deon Hemmings and the world record holder Kim Batten in a superb final race.
Two years later, she won a silver medal in the 400 meter hurdles at the 1999 World Championships in Athletics in Seville.
Nezha Bidouane won her second gold medal in the 400 meter hurdles at the 8th World Championships in Athletics held in 2001 in Edmonton, Canada.
The 400 meter Hurdles World champion donated her 2001 World Championships winning competition kit to the IAAF’s Athletics “For a Better World” humanitarian project.
Jaouad Gharib (2 Gold)
Jaouad Gharib is one of the most successful Moroccan long-distance runners. He won the gold medal for his performance in Marathon at the 2003 World Championships in Paris.
At the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Gharib launched his final attack just before the 30 km mark, bypassing Italian Olympic champion Stefano Baldini and winning his second gold medal in Marathon.
Gharib has an easily recognizable running style; he looks around and behind him frequently and constantly fidgets with his shirt and shorts, tucking and untucking his shirt almost every minute.
Salah Hissou (1 Gold and 1 Bronze)
Born in 1972 in Kasba Tadla, Salah Hissou became one of the most famous Arab long-distance runners.
Salah Hissou won his first medal in the IAAF World Championships in 1997, when he gained a bronze medal at the World Championships in Athletics held in Athens.
Two years later, Salah Hissou won the gold medal in the 5000 meters race at the 1999 World Championships in Athletics in Seville.
Hasna Benhassi (2 Silver)
Hasna Benhassi, the famous Moroccan middle distance runner participated for the first time in the world athletics championships in 1997, held in Athens, where she reached the semi-finals.
The second time she participated was in 2005 in the Helsinki World Athletics Championship on, where she won a silver medal.
At the 2007 World Championships in Athletics in Osaka she cemented her position with another silver medal.
Khalid Boulami (2 silver)
Born in 1969 in Safe, Khalid Boulami is a former long-distance runner from Morocco. He won two silver medals in the world athletics championships.
He won his first medal at the 1995 IAAF World Championships held in Gothenburg, Sweden, and won his second silver medal two years later in the 5000 meters at the 1997 Championships in Athletics in Athens.
Khlid Skah (1 Silver and 1 Bronze)
Born in 1967 in Midelt, Morocco’s Khalid Skah established himself first as a good cross country runner by winning two medals in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
At the 1991World Championships in Athletics held in Tokyo, Khlid Skah won a bronze medal in the 10,000 meters.
Four years later, he won a silver medal at the 1995 IAAF World Championships held in Gothenburg.
In 1995, Skah was granted Norwegian citizenship, prompting the Moroccan Athletics Association to ban him from international competitions.
Zahra Ouaziz (1 Silver and 1 Bronze)
Born 1969 in Khémisset Province, near Rabat, Zahra Ouaziz was inspired by former Moroccan hurdler, Nawal El Moutawakel who won the inaugural women’s 400 meters hurdles event at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
In 1995, Ouaziz won a bronze medal in the 5000 meters race at the IAAF World Championships held in Gothenburg.
Four years later, Zahra Ouaziz won a silver medal in the 5000 meters at the 1999 World Championships in Athletics in Seville.
Ouaziz broke the 5000 meters African record in 1998, clocking in at14:40.19. The record was beaten in September 2000 by Leah Malot of Kenya, who beat her by less than a second at 14:39.83.
Adil Kaouch (1 silver)
Adil Kaouch is a Moroccan middle distance runner who was born in 1979. He won his only medal in the IAAF World Championships in 2005 in Helsinki.
Earlier in 1998, Kaouch won the World Junior Championships in1500 meters. One year later he won the gold in a 5000 meters at the 1999 Pan Arab Games.
Adil Kaouch was suspended in 2007 for failing a doping test.
Ali Ezzine (2 Bronze)
Born in Ain Taoujdate, Meknès in 1978, Ali Ezzine is a Moroccan athlete who specializes in the 3000 meters steeplechase.
He won a bronze medal in the 3000 meters steeplechase at the 1999 World Championships in Athletics in Seville.
Two years later, he won his second bronze medal at the 2001 World Championships held in Edmonton.
In 1999 he achieved the fastest ever time in the steeplechase for a non-Kenyan athlete (8:03.57).
Moulay Ibrahim Bouteyab (1 Bronze)
Moulay Ibrahim Bouteyab is a long distance runner from Morocco. He was born in 1967.
At the 1991World Championships in Athletics held in Tokyo, Bouteyab won a bronze medal in the 5000 meters race.
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