El Bakkali is the only selected Moroccan athlete to be sponsored by Team VISA for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games.
Rabat – Moroccan athlete and Olympic hopeful Soufian El Bakkali recorded the fastest world time for 2020 in the 3,000 meters steeplechase at the Diamond League Competition in Monaco on Friday, August 14.
Sofiane El Bakkali ran his race in just over eight minutes. He achieved a time of 8:08.04 minutes, according to the Diamond League website.
El Bakkali ran with a group of notable international runners, namely Ethiopia’s Lamisha Grima, the vice-champion of world athletics. Wale Getnet from Ethiopia also participated in the race.
The young Moroccan runner has made a name for himself as a steeplechase competitor at the international level.
At age 18 he placed fourth at the 2014 World Junior Championships in Athletics
El Bakkali made his adult debut at the 2014 African Championships in Athletics. He came in 10th for the 3000 meters steeplechase.
The championed runner earned a silver medal at the 2017 World Championships in London. He also secured the bronze medal during the 2019 World Championships in Doha.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Soufian El Bakkali placed fourth. During his Olympic race, he improved his personal best to 8:14.35 minutes.
Soufian El Bakkali is the only Moroccan selected to be sponsored by Team VISA to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Olympic Games will take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021, declared Yoshiro Mori, Olympics President, on March 30.
Following his selection, the 24-year-old said that he aims to win the gold medal at the Olympic Games.
El Bakkali added 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.”
Soufian El Bakkali hopes to become the first Moroccan Olympic gold winner since Morocco’s iconic athlete Hicham El Guerrouj won two gold medals in Athens in 2004.