Moroccan athletics confirmed, during the year we bid farewell, that it had regained its lustre, after its champions achieved glory and lit its candle once again with their brilliance in various international and continental forums.
The “Mother of Games” has proven its presence globally and continentally, starting with climbing to the podium on two occasions during the World Championships in Budapest, then at the Francophone Games in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), not to mention the Moroccan runners grabbing the spotlight in many events, which reflects the importance of national athletics. She looks forward to a bright future, especially achieving good results in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
Perhaps among the most notable achievements of Moroccan athletics was the remarkable success during the 19th edition of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest (August 19-27), which was achieved by Sofiane El Bakkali’s gold (3000 meters steeplechase) and Fatima Zahraa Kirdadi’s bronze (marathon race).
Since the tenth edition of the World Athletics Championships, which was held in Helsinki in 2005, in which Morocco won three medals, one gold thanks to runner Jawad Gharib in the marathon race, and two silver medals for Hasna Benhassi (800 m) and Adel El Kouch (1500 m), Moroccan runners have not been able to win. With two medals in one copy.
Olympic and international runner Sufyan El Bakkali won, for the second time in a row, the gold medal in the 3000m steeplechase, after finishing the race in a time of 8m 3s 53/gm, ahead of his Ethiopian rival, Lamesha Girma (8:05.44m), who won silver, and the Kenyan. Abraham Kibot, who won bronze (8:11.98 d).
With this achievement, Al-Bakali has once again made history in the world of athletics by killing two birds at once, the world title and putting an end to Kenya’s control over the 3000m steeplechase, which for years had been its preserve.
If the undisputed master of the 3000 m steeplechase, Sofiane El Bakkali, is accustomed to shining in these competitions, he is the one who saved the face of Moroccan athletics every time by rising alone to the podiums in the London 2017 (silver) and Doha 2019 (bronze) editions. And Eugene 2022 (gold). The promising runner Fatima Zahraa Kardadi stole the spotlight and wrote a bright page in the history of Moroccan participation by grabbing the first medal in the women’s marathon race.
Kirdadi remained silent for her exceptional performance, and her name was recorded in the list of male and female winners of the 19th World Championship, breaking the absolute monopoly of Ethiopians on marathon races, which seemed achievable.
With her determination to shine within this great challenge, in which she competed to cover a distance of 42.195 km, the Moroccan champion was able to occupy third place in the women’s marathon, with a time of two hours, 25 minutes and 17 seconds, becoming the first Moroccan and Arab runner to achieve this achievement.
The sun of titles did not disappear from the “Mother of Games” globally, even if the value of the stations differed, after the runner Sakina Ithnan won the 40th edition of the Athens Marathon in Greece, and Anas Al-Saei won the 3000m race, within the New York American Athletics Association Indoor Hall, in addition to the runner Zuhair Al-Talbi’s victory. Third place in the New York Half Marathon.
In addition to these achievements, the distinguished results achieved by the Moroccan national team for sports for persons with disabilities in the World Championships for the same category (Paris 2023) after it was able to win seven medals (three gold, two silver and two bronze), while breaking two world records, and occupying 20th place in the final standings. .
At the continental level, Moroccan athletics, along with other sports, dominated during the ninth session of the Francophone Games in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), and achieved a new record in terms of the number of medals, winning 42 medals of various metals out of the 58 medals that constituted the total. Moroccan participation in this session.
This year was also marked by the crowning of the Moroccan national athletics team as champion of the 23rd session of the Arab Athletics Championship for Adults (June 20-24 in Marrakesh), after topping the final medal board with a total of 56 medals, including 17 gold, 25 silver, and 14 bronze.
In addition to the achievements of the “Mother of Games”, the Mohammed VI International Forum, one of the stations of the Diamond League, sits year after year on the throne of international demonstrations in this type of sport, where the world and Olympic champion, the Moroccan Sofiane El Bakkali, killed two birds with one stone after he managed to record the best achievement. World of the year at that time and breaking the conference’s record in the 3000m steeplechase after finishing the race in a time of 7m 56s 68/100m.
In 2023, Morocco strengthened its presence within the International Association of Athletics Federations by re-electing the former Moroccan Olympic champion, Nawal El Moutawakel, as a member of the Federation’s Council for a period of four years.
Thanks to the distinguished results achieved by Moroccan sports in all its forms, the Kingdom of Morocco continues to reap the fruits of its strategic choice by supporting and keeping pace with sports and athletes in general, and investing “significantly” in sports infrastructure in particular.