Morocco at the 2004 Summer Olympics
|Morocco at the Olympic Games|
|At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens|
|Competitors||55 (47 men, 8 women) in 9 sports|
|Flag bearer||Nezha Bidouane|
|Olympic history (summary)|
Morocco sent a 23-person Athletics team to Athens and was rewarded with three medals. Two came from one of the Games' biggest stars, Hicham El Guerrouj. Guerrouj entered the Games as a four-time World Champion in the 1500 metres, but had fallen in the Atlanta final, and finished second in Sydney, and was still pursuing an Olympic gold medal. He breezed through the qualifiers for the 1500 metres, and held off Bernard Lagat in the final to win gold. Four days later, El Guerrouj used a strong finish to pull past 10000 metres gold medalist Kenenisa Bekele to win gold in the 5000 metres, being the first athlete to win the 1500-5000 double since Paavo Nurmi, and also becoming the first ever Moroccan double gold medalist.
Morocco's other medal in Athens also came in middle-distance running, in this case, the women's 800 metres. Hasna Benhassi easily qualified to the final, where she set a new national record, and just pushed ahead of two other runners to earn silver in a very close finish, just five-hundredths of a second short of gold, and just eight-hundredths ahead of fourth.
Moroccan runners recorded five other finals appearances in Athens. Mouhssin Chehibi in the men's 800 metres did very well to set a personal best in the semifinal, and made a strong finishing kick to move up from 6th to 4th in the closing metres of the final. Adil Kaouch, Hicham Bellani and Abderrahim Goumri all were in finals with El Guerouj, Kaouch in the 1500 and Bellani and Goumri in the 5000. None of the three managed to challenge for a medal alongside the double gold medalist. Benhassi qualified for the 1500 metres final as well, but was unable to add to her silver medal. All but three of the twenty-three athletes competed in long or middle-distance running, with only two field athletes participating. Two notable athletes that did not finish in the top eight were Jaouad Gharib, 2003 world champion in the Marathon, who finished 11th, and Nezha Bidouane, who had won a bronze medal in Sydney and gold at the 2001 World Championships, who did not get out of her opening heat in the 400 metre hurdles.
- Round 1 — 1:46.77 (2nd in heat 9, Qualified, 32nd overall)
- Semifinal — 1:44.62 (3rd in semifinal 2, Qualified, 3rd overall) (Personal Best)
- 'Final — 1:45.16 (4th overall)
- Round 1 — 1:45.88 (1st in heat 6, Qualified, 12th overall)
- Semifinal — 1:47.53 (7th in semifinal 1, did not advance, 20th overall)
- Round 1 — 3:38.71 (7th in heat 3, Qualified, 11th overall)
- Semifinal — 3:42.96 (10th in semifinal 2, did not advance, 20th overall)
- Round 1 — 3:39.88 (4th in heat 2, Qualified, 18th overall)
- Semifinal — 3:35.69 (1st in semifinal 1, Qualified, 1st overall)
- Final — 3:38.26 (→ 9th overall)
- Round 1 — 13:22.64 (6th in heat 1, Qualified, 13th overall)
- Final — 13:31.81 (→ 9th overall)
- Round 1 — 13:20.03 (5th in heat 2, Qualified, 5th overall)
- Final — 13:47.27 (→ 13th overall)
- 28:55.96 (→ 18th overall)
- did not finish
- did not finish
- 2:15:12 (→ 11th overall)
Ghanmouni and El Boumlili both pulled out between the halfway point and the 25 km checkpoint.
- Round 1 — 8:29.36 (→ 9th in heat 2, did not advance, 25th overall)
- Round 1 — 8:20.18 (5th in heat 1, Qualified, 10th overall)
- Final — 8:15.58 (→ 8th overall)
- Round 1 — 8:27.55 (4th in heat 3, did not advance, 21st overall)
- Round 1 — 7.62 m (→ 16th in Group A, did not advance, 30th overall)
- Round 1 — 7.79 m (→ 13th in Group B, did not advance, 24th overall)
- Round 1 — 2:03.70 (2nd in heat 4, Qualified, 24th overall)
- Semifinal — 2:00.66 (→ 7th in semifinal 1, did not advance, 17th overall)
- Round 1 — 2:03.95 (2nd in heat 6, Qualified, 28th overall)
- Semifinal — 2:00.64 (→ 6th in semifinal 3, did not advance, 16th overall)
- Round 1 — 4:05.98 (5th in heat 2, Qualified, 5th overall)
- Semifinal — 4:07.39 (5th in semifinal 1, Qualified, 13th overall)
- Final — 4:12.90 (→ 12th overall)
- Round 1 — did not start
- 2:40:46 (→ 27th overall)
- 2:41:36 (→ 30th overall)
- Round 1 — 55.69 (→ 3rd in heat 3, did not advance, 18th overall)
Morocco sent seven boxers to Athens. Only two of them won their first bouts, including Sydney bronze medalist Tahar Tamsamani, and both were defeated in the second round to give the team a combined record of 2-7.
One male fencer represented Morocco in 2004.
The Moroccan team qualified for the Olympics after getting a go-ahead penalty goal in their final qualifying match against Angola. The three over-23 players named by coach Mustapha Madih were Nadir Lamyaghri, Otmane El Assas and Bouchaib El Moubarki. Seven of the team played club football in Morocco, and five in France, with Raja Casablanca the most represented team.
Morocco managed to earn four points from their three matches, but were unable to qualify, losing out on goals scored to Costa Rica. Their tournament opened with a nil-nil draw with the Costa Ricans, which they followed with a 2-1 loss to Portugal, having trailed two-nil before they snatched back a late consolation goal. In their final match, they faced an Iraqi team that had already qualified for the knockout round. They fell behind early, but seized back a goal on a penalty before pulling ahead with 13 minutes to play. However, they were unable to get the one additional goal that would have qualified them for the knockout stages, and were eliminated. The team's leading scorer was Bouabid Bouden of RC Lens, who scored two of Morocco's three goals.
- Team Roster
Morocco also had four alternate players, who were not counted as part of the official roster.
- Group D
- 3rd in group, did not advance (4 points, 3 GF, 3 GA, 0 GD, T-10th overall)
The two Moroccan judokas in Athens combined for a 1-3 record, with both losing their first match, but Adil Belgaid getting a second chance in the repechage round, as his first opponent ended up in the final. Belgaid advanced to the second repechage round before losing again to end his run.
- Heat — 1:55.79 (→ did not advance, 53rd place)
The three-member team in Taekwondo sent to Athens by Morocco went 3-4, with two members advancing to a quarterfinal. Mouna Benabderassoul scored a third round point in her quarterfinal to force a 4-4 tie, but lost a superiority decision. In the men's over 80 kg, Abdelkader Zrouri gave up three late points to his Greek opponent to lose, but was drawn into the repechage, where he managed to win his first match, before losing to the eventual bronze medalist.
Morocco's two tennis players did not win a match in Athens, with Arazi and El Aynaoui falling to higher ranked opponents in their opening matches, then withdrawing from their doubles match before it was played.
Yacine Zouaki finished last in his weight class, 20 kilograms behind the second-to-last lifter.
- 225.0 kg (Snatch — 95.0 kg, Clean & Jerk — 130.0 kg, 15th overall)
Wafa Ammouri pulled out of the women's 56 kg weightlifting event, but was on the original entry list. The same was true for Abdalaati Iguider in the men's 1500 metres, Hicham Guermoud in the 3000 metre steeplechase, Zahra Ouaziz in the women's 5000 metres, and Zhor El Kamch in the women's 5000 metres and the marathon.
- President — General Housni Benslimane
- Secretary General — Colonel Mustapha Zeki
- Wallechinsky, David; Jamie Loucky (2008). The Complete Book of the Olympics — 2008 Edition. London: Aurum Press. ISBN 978-1-84513-330-6.
- "Morocco at the 2004 Summer Games". sports-reference.com. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
- "Games of the XXVIII. Olympiad Football Qualifying Tournament record". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. March 13, 2005. Retrieved 2008-07-28.