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Morocco sends 37-strong team to Tunis

Morocco sends 37strong team to Tunis
Mohammed Benchrif for the IAAF
4 August 2002 – Rabat, Morocco – Morocco is sending 37 athletes, including 12 women to the 13th African Area Championships, which will be staged in Tunis from 6-10 August 2002.

The great absentee from the Championships, which will also act as the selection trials for the 9th IAAF World Cup in Athletics, which will be held in Madrid, Spain on 20-21 September, is triple World 1500 metre champion, Hicham El Guerrouj. El Guerrouj had announced early in the season that he would not contest the Championships, preferring to devote all his attention to the IAAF Golden League and Grand Prix meets.

Also absent from this edition are two champions who represented Africa at the last edition of the World Cup: Nezha Bidouanne (400m Hurdles) due to maternity and Zahra Ouaziz (3000 metres) due to a lack of form following a recent return to competition after a lengthy layoff for injury.

However, the Moroccan team is not short of talent and will include former World 5000 metre champion Salah Hissou, Brahim Boulmi, the World record holder for the 3000m Steeplechase and the defending champion in the Long Jump, Younes Moudrik.

In the women’s team, the defending African champions at 5000m and 800m, respectively Asmae Laghzaoui and Hasna Benhassi will also be seeking a place on the podium, with Laghzaoui aiming to compete at both 5000 and 10,000 metres, whilst Benhassi will not defend her 800 metre title but will move up to the 1500 metres, where she is currently World champion indoors.

The most titled Moroccans to date have been Discus thrower Zoubida Laayouni, with six African titles, followed by ex-Olympic champion Nawal El Moutawakel with five golds, three of which in one edition of the Championships (Rabat 1984).

The most titled of the Moroccan men is past Olympic 10,000 metres champion Moulay Brahim Boutayeb, who achieved a sensational double in 1988 at Annaba, winning gold in the 5000 and 10,000 metres.

The Moroccan Team roster for Tunis:


Salah Hissou       5000m
- Mohamed Amyn    5000m
-Said El Wardi         5000m
- Brahim Boulami     3000m Steeplechase
- El Arbi Khattabi      3000m Steeplechase
- Younes Moudrik      Long Jump
- Yahya Berrabah      Long Jump
- Youssef Baba         1500m
- Ali Maƒtaoui           1500m
- Abdelkader Hachlaf 1500m
- Jawad Gharib         10,000m
- Abderrahim Goumri 10,000m
- said Berrioui           10.000m
- Khalid Tighziouine   800m 
- Mouhcine Chhibi      800m
- Amine Laâlou          800m
- Abdenbi Abid          100m
- Mohamed Nhili        100m/ 4x100m
- Nabil Jabir               200m 
- Ismail Daif               200m /4x400m 
- Abdellatif Ghazouani 400/4x400m
- Abdelkrim Khoudri    400/4x400m
- Mohamed Bazdi       High Jump
- Hicham Ait Aha       Shot Put
- Nabil Kiram             Discus Throw
- Hasna Ben Hassi      1500m
- Seloua Ouaziz          1500m
- Asmae Laghzaoui      5000/10,000m
- Bouchra Chaƒbi         5000/10,000m
- Zhor EL Kamch          5000/10,000m
- Mina Ait Hammou       800m
-Soltana Ait Hammou    800m
- Siham Hanafi              100m/200m
- Saida Rochdi               100m Hurdles
- Zhor Lachguer             400m Hurdles
-Hayat El Ghazi            Hammer
- Mouna Dani                Hammer