24 OCT 2011 General News Casablanca, Morocco

Idrissi takes convincing victory in Casablanca

Aziz Naji Idrissi (c) on the Casablanca Marathon podium (Mohammed Benchrif)Aziz Naji Idrissi (c) on the Casablanca Marathon podium (Mohammed Benchrif) © Copyright

Aziz Naji Idrissi of Morocco took an overwhelming victory in the Casblanca International Marathon on Sunday (23) clocking 2:12:55 in a race dominated by Moroccan athletes.


Running as pacemakers, Idrissi and his compatriot Mustapha El Azizi ran shoulder-to-shoulder along much of the route and found themselves alone by the 25th kilometre.


Almost a minute after Idrissi's victorious finish, El Azizi, a cross country specialist running his first Marathon, crossed the finish line second in 2:13.54, followed by Hicham El Barouki (2:14:38), Abderrahim Moatassim (2:15:05) and Noureddine Bouchamama (2:16:21) to complete a top-five finish for the host nation.


"It is a pleasant surprise to win this marathon, the second of my career," Idrissi said. "At the start of the race, I was planning to prepare for the Turin Marathon, scheduled for 13 November, and I was one of the rabbits here to assist with improving the course record."


"But I found myself in the lead two-thirds of the way into the race, and a strong believer in my opportunity, I continued, especially since I still felt fresh physically and could go all the way. "


In the women's race, it was Ethiopia that dominated but the results were quite modest and well off the 2:31:10 course record set by Tadesse Yeshimebet in 2010.


The winner was Wudnesh Nega Debele in 2:50:05, finishing more than a minute ahead of compatriot Amane Seid Chow (2:51:10).


The men's course record of 2:09:03 is held by the Ethiopian Shumi Gerbal.


The Half Marathon races, won by Haddouchi Mossaad (1:06:33) and Hafida Izem (1:14:42), featured only domestic fields.


Mohammed Benchrif for the IAAF


Leading Results:

Marathon -

MEN -

1. Aziz Naji Idrissi (MAR)         2:12:55

2. Mustapha El Azizi (MAR)         2:13:54

3. Hicham El Barouki (MAR)         2:14:38

4. Abderrahim Moatassim (MAR)     2:15:05

5. Nourreddine Bouchamama (MAR)  2:16:21

6.  Chemoi (KEN)                   2:16:38

7. G. Kiplagat (KEN)               2:17:52

8. Mengistu Tessema (ETH)         2:19:54

9. Hassan Ihmach (MAR)             2:20:13


WOMEN -

1. Wudnesh Nega Debele (ETH)  2:50:05

2. Amane Seid Cheweo (ETH)     2:51:10

3. Alina Gherasim (ROU)       2:58:34

4. Tadelech Birugudeta (ETH)  3:05:06


Half Marathon -

MEN -

1. Haddouchi Mossaad (MAR)         1:06:33

2. Omar Tioratine (MAR)           1:06:42

3. Abdelkarim Boubker (MAR)       1:07:59

4. Mustapha Morchid Alaoui (MAR)  1:08:36


WOMEN -

1. Hafida Izem (MAR)         1:14:42

2. Hanane El Bajjaoui (MAR)  1:23:00

3. Mhih Amina (MAR)           1:25:23