Monday, August 18, 2008

Moroccan Olympics - update #5

Morocco's first medal.

Moroccan athlete Hesna Benhassi had a fantastic run in the 800 metre women's final. Hesna clocked 1:56:73 behind Kenyans Pamela Jelimo (1:54.87) and Janeth Busienei Jepkosgei (1:56.07), who won gold and silver respectively. Silver medallist in the 2004 Athens Olympics, Benhassi ranked second in semi-final heat 2 in 1:58.03, behind Kenyan Pamela Jelimo (1:57.31).

Benhassi was already among the greatest Moroccan women athletes in history even before her silver medal 800m performances in the Athens Olympics and the World Championships in Helsinki in 2005 and Osaka in 2007. She had won gold at 800m in the 2000 African Championships and at 1500m in the 2001 World Indoor Championships in Lisbon, becoming only the second female Moroccan athlete, after Nezha Bidouane, to win a World Championship title. But she has remained very much in the shadow of her brilliant compatriot, Hicham El Guerrouj.

* Born June 1, 1978.
* Making her third appearance at the Olympics.
* Won silver in the 2004 Athens Games (1 minute, 56.43 seconds), and finished eighth in 2000 at Sydney (1:59.27).
* Took silver at the 2007 World Championships in Japan, finishing in 1:56.04.
* Also finished second at the 2005 worlds in Finland with a time of 1:59.42.
* Won gold in the 2000 African Championships.
* Finished first in the 1,500m dash at the 2001 World Indoor Championships.
* Took gold in the 800m dash at the 1997 Mediterranean Games and the Pan-Arab Games that year.

Olympic Updates.

Update One
Update Two
Update Three
Update Four
Update Five
Update Six
Moroccan woman joins IOC


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