Warning shots fired at Kenyans as Moroccan steeplechase star sets target ahead of Olympic Games


ATHLETICS Warning shots fired at Kenyans as Moroccan steeplechase star sets target ahead of Olympic Games

Abigael Wafula 14:02 - 25.02.2024

Moroccan steeplechase star Soufiane El Bakkali has fired warning shots at Kenyans after setting a lofty target ahead of the Olympic Games in Parris, France.

Warning shots have been fired at the Kenyan charge early in the season as Olympic and World 3000m steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali has disclosed where he will open his season and the wonders he intends to do at the Olympic Games in Paris, France.

The Moroccan, a serial steeplechaser in his own right, will compete at the Seashore Group Doha Meeting at the Qatar Sports Club on Friday, May 10.

Doha remains to be a favourite place for the 28-year-old who ran a 3000m personal best of 7:33.87 last year. Last season, he enjoyed an unbeaten season of five wins in steeplechase finals from May through to September.

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He bagged his second successive global title at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest beating world record holder Lamecha Girma in the closing stages.

He also smashed his lifetime best with an incredible 7:56.68 at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Rabat. His eyes are now set on winning the Olympic gold medal in Paris and he is not playing about it.

“It means a lot to me to compete at the Doha Meeting where I feel privileged to have such great supporters.

“Last year was special for me. I was really proud to win another gold medal in Budapest and it’s given me even more motivation for the Olympic Games this summer.

“Now it’s about preparing in the best way possible, and I hope that my performance in Doha will give me confidence as I build towards that goal,” he said as per the Wanda Diamond League.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Al Fadala, Qatar Athletics Federation president, believes that the Doha Meeting has established itself as one of the leading Wanda Diamond League events and it has become a key fixture for many athletes.

“The Doha Meeting continues to grow its reputation and profile on the global athletics circuit and that attracts big names.

“Last year’s event lived up to our high expectations with three meeting records, four national records, and a vocal sell-out crowd.

“In 2024, we will once again welcome the best athletes in the world to the Qatar Sports Club and provide them with our exceptional hospitality.

“As an ambitious nation, our commitment to delivering world class sporting events remains one of our key priorities and we look forward to providing the perfect stage for top quality performances,” he said.