Moroccan Olympic gold medallist Soufiane El Bakkali won his second consecutive World Championships victory in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old outpaced his rivals, including Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma, world record holder and Olympic silver medallist. El Bakkali finished the race in eight minutes and 3.53 seconds. Although 22-year-old Girma set a blazing world record of 7:52.11 at the Paris Diamond League on June 9, he was unable to maintain his connection with El Bakkali on the final jump into the water. As a result, Girma won his third silver medal with a time of 8:05.44.
“After winning in Eugene last year, I’m really proud to bring home another gold medal,” said El Bakkali at the end of the race. “I came ready and prepared and believed I could win. This medal gives me additional motivation for the Olympic Games in Paris. I want to win there too.”
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A thrilling race
The race was not without its share of dramatic moments. Kenyan runner Abraham Kibiwot tripped over a barrier and fell as he entered the final lap. Despite this setback, he quickly regained his footing and managed to overtake his compatriot Leonard Kipkemoi Bett. His quick rebound earned him a bronze medal, finishing the race in 8:11.98.