Tag Archives: Soufiane Bouchikhi

Galen Rupp to battle Bashir Abdi at Great North Run

The 2012 Olympic Games gold medallist in 10,000m Galen Rupp will be the star to watch at the 40th edition of the Great North Run that will be held on Sunday (12) from Newcastle to South Shields in England.

The 2016 Rio marathon bronze medallist is coming off of an eighth place finish in the Olympic Marathon in Sapporo last month.  A veteran of seven half-marathons, the former Oregon Duck carries on his shoulder a personal best of 59:47 that he got at the 2018 Roma-Ostia half-marathon in Italy.

The 35 year-old American will battle for the top honors as he faces off with the recently crowned bronze medallist in the marathon at the 2020 Summer Olympics,  Somali-born Belgian Bashir Abdi who knows this streets well having participated in this race in 2018 where he finished in third place in 1:01.42. The 32 year-old has a personal best of 1:01.50 that he got in 2017 at the Lille Half Marathon in France.

Other established athletes slated to run are Britain’s Marc Scott who has a personal best of 1:00.35 and Jake Smith of 1:00.31 and Belgium’s Soufiane Bouchikhi of 1:02.59 are also competing on the men’s side, as is Britain’s Charlotte Purdue (1:08:23).

This year’s race has the inclusion of several track athletes making their half-marathon debuts. Those include Stewart McSweyn, the Australian record holder for both the mile (3:48.37) and 10,000m (27:23.80); Eilish McColgan, the British record holder for 5000m (14:28.55); Edward Cheserek, the Kenyan record holder for the indoor mile (3:49.44); and Dominique Scott, the South African record holder for 3000m indoors (8:41.18).

The assembled elite athletes will be fighting to try and lower the race course record of 58:56 that was set in 2011Kenya’s Martin Mathathi.

Amdouni beats Kigen to claim First-Ever French Gold at European Championships 10,000m

France’s Morhad Amdouni became the first Frenchman ever to win the European Championships 10,000m title, prevailing in a tactical race with a powerful 56-second closing lap.

Amdouni, 30, the European junior champion at 5000m back in 2007, clocked 28:11.22, just a few strides ahead of Belgium’s Bashir Abdi (28:11.76), and Italy’s Yemaneberhan Crippa (28:12.15).

“You have a magnificent Olympic stadium,” Amdouni told European Athletics interviewers. “Thank you. Today, I am over the moon, so happy. Long live Germany and long live France!”

The medal, France’s first of these championships, was particularly important for the French team given that all three of their decathletes –including reigning champion Kevin Mayer– failed to post a mark in the long jump this morning. Amdouni will also contest the 5000m on Saturday, and is a medal threat in that event, also, with a 13:11.18 personal best.

Predictably, tonight’s race progressed slowly. Through 5000m (14:08.91) the field was content to lope along, posting 68 and 69-second laps. Amdouni ran near the front, and was joined there by Turkey’s Kaan Kigen Özbilen, Spain’s Adel Mechaal, Belgium’s Soufiane Bouchikhi and Bashir Abdi, France’s Florian Carvalho, and Switzerland’s Julien Wanders among others. The field was content to sit behind Özbilen and bide their time.

“I wanted to push,” an exhausted Özbilen told Race Results Weekly. “I can’t kick with the other guys; I’m training for the marathon.”

But Özbilen’s pace was too slow to break up the field, leaving a big, 13-man lead pack intact at the 8000m mark (22:48.02). Nothing changed until Spain’s Mechaal decided to force the pace with three laps to go, running 66.3 seconds through 9200m, then an very honest 63.3 through 9600m. Mechaal, who has 3:34.70 1500m speed, said he actually worried about the last lap.

“I don’t have the confidence in my speed the last 400m,” Mechaal told Race Results Weekly, explaining that he missed seven weeks of training due to a tooth infection and illness. “Maybe I should have waited more.”

With Wanders and Carvalho too far back to contend for the podium, Abdi made his bid for victory on the backstretch, throwing in a big acceleration and breaking up the race. For a marathoner, his speed was surprising, but perhaps not given the accomplishments of one of his regular training partners.

“I got that (speed) from Mo Farah,” Abdi told Race Results Weekly. “Actually, I ran this year the first time a marathon. My endurance was really good. I had the kick today.”

But Amdouni was not impressed. He reacted quickly to Abdi’s move, setting up a thrilling four-man homestretch run. Abdi still led coming out of the final bend, but Amdouni ran him down in the final meters to get the win by two strides.

“I have had many big difficulties, but I did not give up,” Amdouni said. “On the last lap I was very impatient, but now I feel relieved.”

Mechaal, who broke the race open, was crestfallen that he could not hold off Crippa in the last 50 meters. Visibly straining, he finished fourth, the same position as last summer’s IAAF World Championships where he ran the 1500m, instead. Özbilen faded to tenth, while his teammate, defending champion Polat Arikan, failed to finish.

“I would like to thank my wife, my coach and the French team,” Amdouni said. “It is set off now; I will focus on the 5-K.”

Source: runnersweb.com