El Bakkali’s win comes less than a month after breaking the fastest world time for 2020 in the 3,000 meters steeplechase.
Rabat – Moroccan athlete Soufiane El Bakkali won yesterday, the 1,500 meter race at the 14th International Marseille Athletics Meeting in France.
Sofiane El Bakkali, who specializes in the 3,000 meters steeplechase, ran his race in just 3:34.51 minutes.
He ranked first, outrunning Fance’s Azeddine Habz and Spain’s Kevin Lopez, who scored 3:35.87 minutes and 3:35.98 minutes respectively.
Soufiane El Bakkali spent the quarantine period in Ifrane in Morocco’s Middle Atlas region. He retreated to the city after testing negative for COVID-19, carrying out training sessions and preparing for the Marseille tournament.
The International Marseille Athletics Meeting is the first major athletic event in France since the country eased its COVID-19 lockdown.
Soufiane El Bakkali’s achievement follows his world-breaking record earlier this year in the 3,000 meters steeplechase. He won at the Diamond League Competition in Monaco on August 14, running his race in just over eight minutes.
Sofian El Bakkali marked his debut by ranking fourth at the 2014 World Junior Championships in Athletics at the age of 18, before earning 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, El Bakkali placed fourth. During his Olympic race, he improved his personal best to 8:14.35 minutes.
Soufiane El Bakkali is now the only Moroccan athlete selected to be sponsored by Team VISA to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.”