Hicham El Guerrouj after his 5000m triumph at the 2004 Olympics, his second gold medal of the Athens Games (© Getty Images)
Double Olympic champion Hicham El Guerrouj and 800m Olympic silver medallist Hasna Benhassi have been named Moroccan Athletes of the Year following a survey jointly organised by the Moroccan Press Agency, the Moroccan National Radio station and TVM, the main national Television broadcaster. Overall 28 media were involved in the voting process.
This year’s was El Guerrouj’s ninth title as Moroccan Athlete of the Year (the 8th consecutive). 2004 saw El Guerrouj achieve an incredible Olympic double at 1500m and 5000m and claim the Trophy for the Best Performance of the Year presented by IAAF President Lamine Diack at the World Athletics Gala in Monaco.
El Guerrouj scored a total of 140 points with Bordeaux football player Marouane Chamakh a distant second with 51 points. Another athlete, Abdelâati Iguider who won the 1500m at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Grosseto was third (34 pts).
In the women’s standings, Hasna Benhassi topped the rankings with 144 points. Cycling star Atiqa Sabib who won five medals (three golds) at the Pan Arab Games in Algiers came in second with 68 points while Siham Hilali, two-time bronze medallist in Grosseto was third with 39 points.
Mohammed Benchrif for the IAAF