Categories: Morocco News Sports

Moroccan Athlete Chakib Lachgar Wins Spain’s 2019 Behobia-San Sebastian

Lachgar emigrated to Spain as an undocumented migrant, hiding under a truck.

Rabat – Moroccan athlete Chakib Lachgar has won the 55t Annual Behobia San Sebastian race, outperforming the other competitors.

The Moroccan athlete came first with a time of 1h.00, 00, ahead of Iraitz Arrospide who arrived four seconds after the Moroccan.

Spanish media described the win as a “surprise,” given the history of the athlete who immigrated to Spain irregularly  in 2008.

Read Also: Police Arrest 111 Suspects for Alleged Irregular Migration in Oujda

He emigrated to Spain from Ouargui, a Moroccan town nearly 100 kilometers from Marrakech.

The athlete managed to emigrate to Spain underneath a truck.

Diario Vasco quoted Lachgar who narrated his risky adventure.

“I was 18 when I left Morocco. I came under a truck. It was dangerous and difficult to forget.”

Born in 1986, the athlete said he was interested in traveling to Europe from an early age.

He said that  he needed a “lot of money” to ride a patera.

“I ended up in the basement of a truck,” he said. He added that he was planning to emigrate to Germany.

“I haven’t done any sports since I left school,” he added that he realized later that when he ran it made him feel better and began to practice sports regularly. 

The athlete left school at the age of 16 to try to earn money, he travelled to the Sahara and to Tangier in order to earn a living. Before leaving Morocco, he worked selling fruit, in textiles, and selling bread. 

Lack of employment opportunities have led hundreds of young people to take the risky trip to Europe. 

In October, a Moroccan Taekwondo champion, Anouar Boukharsa, decided to cross the Mediterranean to reach Spain without papers. 

The champion documented his trip on a small boat in a short video that went viral.

In the video, Boukharsa throws his medals in the water, saying that they have no value.

In Morocco, when athletes end their professional careers they usually find themselves in a precarious situation, unless they have a second job or made enough savings during their career.