Olympics 3,000m steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali ran a in a meeting record and world leading time at the Meeting International Mohammed VI d’Athletisme held on Sunday (5) in Rabat, Morocco.
El Bakhali who ended Kenya’s 25 years run of success in steeplechase in Tokyo, was at it again as he defeated for the first time the two time World champion Conseslus Kipruto as he also went ahead to once more defeat Olympic silver medallist Lamecha Girma from Ethiopia.
The 26 year-old took control of the race as he marked his strongest opponent at the moment as they chased each other with El Bakhali hitting the front down the back straight and during a pulsating final lap as he dipped under the exclusive club for the second time as he crushed the race meet record and running a world time of 7:58.28 and collapsed on the track in delight.
The 2019 World silver medallist and Ethiopian National record holder over the distance was forced to settle in second as he also ran the sub eight for the second time in 7:59.24 with his compatriot Hailemariyam Tegegn, who had kept in touch with the two leaders until the final lap, finishing in third place in a personal best of 8:06.29.
The 2016 Olympic champion Kipruto made a point on his comeback from injury as he finished in fourth place in 8:12.47, with Avinash Mukund Sable finishing fifth with an India National Record of 8:12.48.
Reigning Olympic Games 3,000m steeplechase bronze medallist, Benjamin Kigen and Africa junior 3,000m steeplechase champion Abraham Kibiwott finished in a disappointing eighth and ninth place in a time of 8:17.32 and 8:18.78 respectively.