Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali broke Kenya’s grip on the men’s 3,000m steeplechase at the Olympics, winning the gold medal at Tokyo 2020.
El Bakkali became the first non-Kenyan to win the Olympic gold event since Poland’s Bronisław Malinowski won the title in Moscow in 1980.
The 25-year-old made his move at the final water jump, moving past the Ethiopian duo of Lamecha Girma and Getnet Wale to claim the title in a time of eight minutes, 08.90 seconds (8:08.90). Girma finished second with a time of 8:10.38, with Kenya’s Benjamin Kigen rounding off the podium in third with 8:11.45.
The 3,000m steeplechase has been Kenya’s domain since 1968, where they have won the gold medal in every Olympics but Montreal 1976 and Moscow 1980, which they boycotted.
El Bakkali came into the Games as one of the favourites for a historic run in the absence of Kenya’s defending champion Conseslus Kipruto. El Bakkali has demonstrated his pedigree finishing second behind Kipruto at the London World Championships in 2017 and winning bronze at the Doha showpiece two years later.
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