EL BAKKALI TAKES THE FINAL OBSTACLE TO WANDA DIAMOND LEAGUE TRIUMPH
Soufiane El Bakkali (MAR) had tried, in vain, to grab a Diamond Trophy four times. Last night, he was determined not to lose out on the prestigious title again. Waiting patiently for the right moment, the Olympic and world champion started his attack with two laps to go. He won in 8:07.67, with time to spare to savour his triumph.
Two days prior to her race, Emma Coburn (USA) was jogging with fans and sharing valuable advice at one of the new Weltklasse Zürich pop-up events. At Letzigrund Stadium, the 2017 world champion (7th) had to yield to her East African opponents, just like Swiss national record holder Chiara Scherrer (9th). The decision about who was going to take home a Diamond Trophy was made at the final hurdle, where world championship silver medallist Werkuha Getachew (ETH/9:03.57) caught up with the leading Windred Mutile Yavi (BRN, 4th at the world championships).
A DIAMOND TROPHY TO COMPLETE THE SET OF TRIUMPHS
Watching Olympic and world champion Soufiane El Bakkali (26) compete brings back memories of two other great Moroccan runners – Saïd Aouita and Hicham El Guerrouj. Aouita had taken gold at the Olympic Games of Los Angeles in 1984, beating his Swiss opponent Markus Ryffel in the process. El Guerrouj became a double Olympic champion in 2004, when he prevailed both in the 1500m and the 5000m. This year, El Bakkali interrupted a long winning streak of Kenyan 3000m SC stars, who had taken all world championship titles since 1987. As in the world championships earlier this summer, his strongest opponent will probably be Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma (21). In June, Girma ran three sub-eight-minute races within 10 days!
Olympic Champion: Peruth CHEMUTAI (UGA) 9:01.45
World Champion: Norah JERUTO (KAZ) 8:53.02
European Champion: Luiza GEGA (ALB) 9:11.31
World Lead: Norah JERUTO (KAZ) 8:53.02
Olympic Champion: Soufiane El BAKKALI (MAR) 8.08.90
World Champion: Soufiane El BAKKALI (MAR) 8:25.13
European Champion: Topi RAITANEN (FIN) 8:21.80
World Lead: Soufiane El BAKKALI (MAR) 7:58.28