Morocco showed they don’t only rely on runners for medal success when Tarik Bougtaïb and Yahya Berrabah took the first two places of the men’s Triple Jump (16.91m and 16.44m) on the fourth day of athletics (14) at the Francophone Games currently being held in Niamey, Niger. Younès Moudrik, a little bit less successful had to settle for 4th with 15.99m.
This is the first year that Morocco’s Long Jump specialists have ventured seriously into the Triple Jump and their current results demonstrate the effort is paying off. In 2005, 24-year old Bougtaïb improved Abdeljalil Smaq’s 14-year-old national record (16.15m) four time to set it to 17.00m with a victory at the Mediterranean Games. The son of former pole vaulter Mustapha Bougtaïb - who cleared 4.50m with a rigid pole - and sprinter Fatima Meziane, he stands 31st in the World list for 2005 (3rd African) and 45th in the IAAF World Ranking. Moudrik powered to a 16.80m record last May in Marrakech, while Berrabah didn’t have any reference for 2005.
The men’s 5000m didn’t come far short of replaying the 10,000m result from earlier this week. In a tactical race, opposing a Moroccan trio was the winner of the 10,000m Dieudonné Dissi of Rwanda. However, this time the Rwandese didn’t have the advantage of surprise any more. Facing well-rested opponents, he was no match for Adil Kaouch’s last kick. The World 1500m silver medallist beat fellow countryman Abdelhakim Zahraoui to the tape (14:16.23 to 14:16.39) while Dissi was third in 14:16.41.
Frenchman Romain Barras had a commanding victory in the Decathlon in what appears to be an unprecedented achievement. With his score of 8046 points, the Decathlete who finished 7th at the World Championships in Helsinki, broke the 8000pts barrier for the sixth time in a year! His series for 2005: 8185pts on May 29 in Götzis, 8127pts on June 29 in Almeria, 8024pts on July 14 in Angers, 8087pts on August 10/08 in Helsinki, 8060pts on September 18 in Talence and 8046pts in Niamey.
In the men’s 400m Hurdles, pre-race favourite Ibrahima Maiga of Mali suffered a surprising loss to Senegalese veteran Ibou Faye, 50.67 to 50.71. The Senegalese athlete, who celebrated his 36th birthday on the eve of the final didn’t expect to clinch his first individual title at the Games: “I’m really surprised by my performance because it comes a bit early in the season and the Games were not really a goal for me. This medal is really important to me, especially as these were my 5th Games. I was present in Morocco in 1989 for the inaugural edition. I had come as an alternate in the 4x400m and eventually left with the gold in the relay.”
The only women’s final of the day, the Discus Throw, was easily won by Ileana Sanda Brandusoiu of Romania with a 52.28m release.
NOTE: Thursday (15) will be a rest day for athletics, and the last and final session will be held tomorrow, Friday.
Carole Fuchs for the IAAF
1. Adil Kaouch MAR 14:16.23
2. Abdelhakim Zahraoui MAR 14:16.39
3. Dieudonné Dissi RWA 14:16.41
1. Ibou Faye SEN 50.67
2. Ibrahima Maiga MLI 50.71
3. Barnabé Bationo BUR 51.04
1. Tarik Bougtaïb MAR 16.91/+0.9
2. Yahya Berrabah MAR 16.44/-1.5
3. Daniel Donovici ROM 16.11/-3.0
1. Romain Barras FRA 8046pts (11.25/+2.3 - 7.15m/+1.3 - 15.35m - 1.94m - 49.74 - 14.50/+0.9 - 45.06m - 4.90m - 57.88m - 4:31.02)
2. Nadir El Fassi FRA 7307pts (11.28/+2.3 - 6.88m/+1.3 - 13.52m - 1.97m - 51.01 - 15.90/+0.9 - 38.14m - 4.40 - 53.45 - 4:31.17)
3. Patrick Russel CAN 7097pts (11.16/+2.3 – 6.88m/+2.7 – 13.35m – 1.88m – 50.63 – 14.74/+0.9 – 39.01m – 4.40m – 46.55m – 5:06.66)
1. Ileana Sanda Brandusoiu ROM 52.28
2. Agnès Teppe FRA 49.52
Suzanne Kragbé CIV 48.72