Rabat - Moroccan athlete Soufiane El Bakkali took home the victory from the Paris Diamond League’s 3000m steeplechase, a race which includes hurdles and water jumps, on Saturday, August 25.
Rabat – Moroccan athlete Soufiane El Bakkali took home the victory from the Paris Diamond League’s 3000m steeplechase, a race which includes hurdles and water jumps, on Saturday, August 25.
El Bakkali injured his foot during the race and blood could be seen seeping through his shoes, but that didn’t stop him from being the first to cross the finish line.
The win “at a cost, as he limped away with blood all over his shoe after being badly spiked in a race,” said International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) who organizes the diamond league.
El Bakkali was also faced by tough competition, with accomplished athletes such as Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma and Kenya’s Benjamin Kigen coming in 2nd and 3rd place behind him.
He finished the obstacle race with a total time of 8:06.54, whereas Kigen clocked in at 8:07.09, and Girma at 8:08.63.
The win adds to El Bakkali’s already long list of athletic achievements at just 23. In 2016, El Bakkali represented Morocco at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, coming 4th in the men’s 3000m steeplechase, his specialty.
He placed first in the steeplechase at the Mediterranean Games held in Spain in 2018, and 2nd in the African Championships in Nigeria.
Just this summer, El Bakkali won the men’s 3000m steeplechase championship in Monaco on Friday, July 12, clocking in a time of 8:04:82. It marked his second time winning the competition, having won in 2018 as well, although he failed to break his record from last year of 7:58:15.