28 FEB 2004 General News Rabat, Morocco

Moroccan Cross Country Championships

The 48th national cross country championships took place today on the city’s race course which was the venue for the 1975 World Cross Country Championships.

Adi El Kaouch who was the 1998 World Junior 1500m champion won the senior men’s short course race (4000m) in 12:25 returning to top form after a long absence due to injury. In second place was Hamid Ezzine (12:31), the younger brother of Ali Ezzine the 2000 Olympic steeplechase bronze medallist, and third was Abdelhalim Zahraoui (12:37.07).

The women’s short course was won by 2002 World Junior 3000m silver medallist Mariem Al Aoui Selsouli (14:36) whose exhausting final attack beat Ouafae Frikech (14:50) who had to settle for second place.

The young athletes Mohamed Hajjaj, 25, (10,000m - 32:10) and Soud Kanbouchia, 21, (8000m - 29:51) were respectively the men’s and women’s long course winners, races which involved 5400 runners from some 154 clubs.

Hajjaj won four seconds ahead of Hicham Abou Abbas (32:14), with Abdellatif Miftah in third (32:17.09).

For her part in the women’s race Soud Kanbouchia was dominant and retained her title nine seconds ahead of Malika Assahsah (30.00)

The championships were used by the Moroccan Federation to access form ahead of the selection of the national team for the forth coming 32nd IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Brussels, Belgium (20/21 March).
  
17 year-old Siham Hilali, the 2003 World Youth 3000m champion won the women’s junior title (6000m) in 22:15.

Men (10,000m)
1. Hajjaji, Mohamed 32:10.04
2. Aboulabass, Hicham 32:14.02
3. Miftah, Abdellatif 32:17.09
4. Azzouzi, Said 32:27.01
5. Ahmami, Mohamed 32:38.03
  
Women (8000m)
1. Soud, Khanbouchia 29:51.03
2. Assahsah, Malika 30:00.01
3. El Ouali Alami, Salima 30:57.07
4. Essaki, Amal 31:05.07
5.Janati, Hanane 31:07.07 

Men (4000m)
1. Adil, Kaouch 12:25.09
2. Hamid, Ezzine 12:31.09
3. Ezzahraoui, Abdelhalim 12:37.07

Women (4000m)
1. Alaoui Selsouli, Meryem 14:36.05
2. Frikech, Oufae 14:50.01
3. Nadim, Idrissia 15:07.07

Men JUNIORS (8000m)
1. Lmadouli, Said 26:11.05
2. Kallaouch, Mohamed 26:14.00
3. Moustaoui, Mohamed 26:24.01

Women JUNIORS (6000m)
1. Hilali, Siham 22:15.04
2. Daoud, Laila 23:25.07
3. Ouberka, Fatima 23:43.08