General News

Three teams to represent Morocco in Ostend

Three teams to represent Morocco in Ostend
Mohammed Bencherif (MAP)

18 March 2001 – Rabat – Three teams have been selected to represent Morocco at next weekend’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Ostend in the senior men and women’s short cross and the junior men’s events.

The squad for the senior men’s short cross will be led by Ali Ezzine, bronze medallist in the 3000m steeplechase in both Seville 99 and at the Sydney Olympics and Brahim Boulami, who came sixth in the 1998 edition of the World Cross Country Championships in Marrakech. The two leaders will compete alongside Said Berrioui, sixth in the finals of the 10,000 metres in Sydney and Adil El-Kaouch, who came fifth in the 1500 metres at the recent Lisbon World Indoor Championships.

In the absence of Zohra Ouaziz, who took silver medals in both Marrakech and in Vilamoura last year, the women’s team will be led by the national cross country champions, Zhor El-Kamch, the current military world cross champion, who took the ninth place in Portugal last year, Asmaa Laghzaoui, the Arab champion over 10,000 metres and Malika Asahsah, the Moroccan vice-champion.

In the junior men’s group, Morocco took the bronze medal on five separate occasions between Budapest 1994 and Marrakech 1998, but was unable to repeat this exploit at the last two editions, This year the team will notably include Abdellatif Chemlal, bronze medallist in the 3000 metres steeplechase at last October’s World Junior Championships in Santiago, Chile, who has already competed twice at the World Cross Country Championships as a junior.

Most missed in Ostend will be a Moroccan team in the senior long cross.

Morocco had achieved excellent results at both individual and team levels in the past decade, with the exception of the preceding two editions in Belfast and Vilamoura.

In the past, Khalid Skah won the gold medal on two successive occasions, in Aix-les-Bains (1990) and Antwerp (1991); Salah Hissou was a two-time silver medallist, in Cape Town in 1996 and Turin in 1997, following his bronze medal in the 1995 edition in Durham. Nor should one forget the exploits of Abdeslam Radi and Ghazi Zaaraoui in the Nations Cross. The two took the titles, respectively, in Hamilton Park, Scotland in 1960 and in Rabat in 1966.