After Poland’s Bronisław Malinowski, who won the Olympic gold event in 1980 in Moscow, El Bakkali is the first non-Kenyan to win the title.
moved past the Ethiopian duo of Lamecha Girma and Getnet Wale at the final water jump to grab the title in 08.90 seconds (8:08.90). Girma became second with the time of 8:10.38 and Kenya's Benjamin Kigen being the third with 8:11.45.
Kenya have dominated the 3,000m steeplechase since 1968, where they have claimed the gold medal in everyOlympics
except for Montreal 1976 and Moscow 1980.
During Kenya’s defending champion Conseslus Kipruto’s absence, El Bakkali came to be the favorite for a historic run.
am so used to seeing Kenyans win, it's a big accomplishment for me. I have been aiming for this for years and this was my opportunity to show that Morocco is capable of winning this prize in front of the Kenyans,"
El Bakkali said.
"It was not easy for me to be in front of the Kenyans and Ethiopians. I know how hard it is to be first in front of them.
"I have been thinking about being more confident, working on my self-confidence and also trusting that I can win. I have tried so many times to compare myself with the Kenyans and Ethiopians to see whether I could reach this gold, and I did."