Aziz Naji Idrissi (c) on the Casablanca Marathon podium (Mohammed Benchrif) © Copyright
General News Casablanca, Morocco

Idrissi takes convincing victory in Casablanca

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