Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali, breaks kenyan steeplechase domination

Soufiane El Bakkali, born on 7 January, 1996 is a Moroccan male steeplechase runner. El Bakkali has built up the skills necessary during the last three years, finishing fourth at the Rio Olympics and silver at the World Athletics Championships in London in 2017.
He even broke the 8-minute barrier at the Herculis meeting in Monaco in 2018 (7:58.15), making him the tenth fastest runner over the distance. At the Monaco Diamond League in August, the Moroccan set the fastest world time in the 3,000 meters steeplechase, finishing in 8:08.04 minutes. He won a 1500m race in 3:34:51 at the Marseille international athletics meeting on 3rd September, 2020. Then, El Bakkali finished third in the 1500m at the Doha Diamond League meeting three weeks later, recording his best time over the distance of 3:33.45.
With these accomplishments, he got off to a good start after a long gap caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Morocco stayed off the podiums from 1992 to 2004, when Hicham El Guerrouj won the 1500m and 5000m races in Athens in 2004, but Olympic gold stopped entering the Moroccan treasury until Sofiane El Bakkali arrived and brought Moroccan athletics back to the forefront.
Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco wins a historic gold medal in athletics at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, he was able to finish the race in 8:09.83 minutes, about two seconds behind his closest competitor, the Ethiopian Lamecha Girma, putting him at the top of the rankings.
Thus, Morocco won its first medal in Tokyo, and the first gold medal for Morocco since Hicham El Guerrouj’s gold medals in the 1500 meters and 5000 meters in Athens 17 years ago.
With this, El-Bakkali ends Kenyan runners’ dominance in the race, after they won all nine gold medals in the 3000m steeplechase since Los Angeles 1984 until now, and all gold since 1968 except for the 1976 and 1980 sessions that Kenya boycotted, and the three main medalists were Kenyans at other times.
Al-Bakkali now aspires to more, especially since he is still in his thirties, and is expected to compete for new medals in the next Olympics in Paris at the age of 29, in addition to his upcoming participation in the world championships, which will be the first in the United States in 2022.

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