Said Aouita: An Athlete, a Legend

Said Aouita, was born on November 2, 1959 in Kenitra. Before becoming an athlete, Said wanted at first to be a football player.

In a month, Said Aouita managed to beat the world records for 1500 meters and 5000 meters in 1985.

He is the first man to go below the 13-minute mark with 12’58”39 in the 5,000-meter discipline. He is the only athlete to date to have won the grand prize in track and field three times. He held world records in 5 distances, including 2 Olympic distances. He won 44 consecutive victories over 9 distances between July 1985 and September 1987 before dropping a technical distance that was not his own (3,000 m steeple). Aouita had also won about 20 consecutive races over distances ranging from 800m to 5,000m. he has a series of 115 victories in 119 races between September 1983 and September 1990.

His strong point was his breathtaking acceleration and incredible speed, especially his final straight, not to mention his ability to recover and his phenomenal endurance, which allowed him to be the most complete athlete in the history of the world of the middle distance. He is the only athlete in the world to hold the world records for 5 middle distances in addition to the 2nd best performance in history for the mile and the 6th fastest in history for 10,000m, not to mention that he was the only runner in the world in the 1980s to be able to run the 800 meters in less than 1.44 min, 1,500 meters in less than 3.30 min, a mile in less than 3.47 min, 3,000 meters in less than 7.30 min, 5,000 meters in less than 13 min, the 10,000 meters in less than 27.27min, which earned him the title of decathlete of the middle distance which was awarded to him by the French daily L’équipe.

For several years, he had been working as a consultant on the Qatari channel Al Jazeera Sport. On September 3, 2008, he was appointed Technical Director of Moroccan Athletics to take over the Kingdom’s athletes, who had performed poorly at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In Morocco, a high-speed train between Casablanca and Rabat bears his name: the Aouita, and on the occasion of the London Olympic Games, one of the metro stations in the English capital bore his name.

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