El Bakkali is one of the biggest Moroccan stars heading to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Rabat – Moroccan steeplechase runner Soufiane El Bakkali has been selected as the only Moroccan athlete to be sponsored by Team VISA for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The news came at a press conference on Tuesday in Casablanca.
El Bakkali expressed his gratitude for being selected and told reporters that he is preparing in the best possible conditions.
The athlete announced that he aims to win the gold medal at the Olympic Games and that he wants to send a “strong message to all the young Moroccans who want to succeed in life, by showing them that everything is possible with will, passion, and righteousness.”
El Bakkali hopes to become the first Moroccan Olympic gold medalist since 2004, when Moroccan national hero Hicham El Guerrouj won 2 gold medals in Athens.
Twenty-three-year-old Bakkali is a specialist in the 3000m steeplechase and became a renowned athlete when he won a silver medal at the 2017 IAAF Athletics World Championships in London.
In 2019 the young runner earned a bronze medal at the World Championships in Doha. El Bakkali also placed fourth at the Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio De Janeiro.
The Olympic Games in Tokyo will be the second time Japan hosts the international sporting event.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, there has been speculation that the games may be canceled, but the Japanese government has denied the rumors, insisting that the games will go ahead as planned.