3000m Steeplechase: Soufiane El Bakkali Finds Redemption with Gold Medal at Tokyo Olympics

Soufiane El Bakkali created history as he won a gold medal in the men's 3000m steeplechase at the Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first Moroccan to win this event.

Men's 3000m steeplechase winner; Soufiane Bakkali
Men's 3000m steeplechase winner; Soufiane Bakkali

The finals of the men’s 3000m steeplechase took place on day 3 of Tokyo Olympics. It was redemption for Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali as he took the gold medal in the men’s 3000m steeplechase at the Tokyo Olympics. Soufiane ended the 37 year Kenyan domination of the sport, by becoming the first Moroccan to win a gold in the event.

The field was set strong, and there were several competitors who were in medal contention as the race got off to a start after rainy conditions in Tokyo. Getnet Wale, Benjamin Kigan, Lamecha Girma and Soufiane Bakkali were medal favourites as the race started.

The athletes started out, and Japan’s Ryuji Mura took and early lead. However, at the beginning of the last lap, Wale, Kigan, Lamecha and Bakkali began to separate themselves from the pack. There was a tough fight for the last 400m, with all of the runners neck and neck. In the last 100m, Soufiane moved ahead, and to his delight finished comfortably in first place with a time of 8:08.90 minutes. It was victory for Soufiane and redemption from his previous 4th place finish at the Rio Olympics, where he just missed out on a medal.

Lamecha Girma, Benjamin Kigan take silver and bronze in men’s 3000m steeplechase

men's 3000m steeplechase
men’s 3000m steeplechase

Ethiopa’s Lamecha Girma ran his way to a silver medal finish, as he took second position after leading initially in the last lap. Girma finished with a time of 8.10.38 minutes. It was Kenya’s Benjamin Kigan to took third place, as he managed to overtake Getnet Wale in the ending moments of the race, finishing with a time of 8:11.45s.

Wale finished in fourth place with a time of 8:14.97 minutes, while Eritrea’s Yemane Haileselassie took fifth place with a time of 8:15.34 minutes.

Also read: Tokyo Olympics: Fouaad Mirza becomes first Indian equestrian to qualify for the final round