Noureddine Morceli

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Noureddine Morceli
Personal information
Born (1970-02-28) 28 February 1970 (age 44)
Ténès, Algeria
Height 175 cm (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Weight 60 kg (130 lb)
Sport
Country  Algeria
Sport Track
Event(s) 1500 metres
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 800 metres: 1:44.79[2]
1500 metres: 3:27.37[2]
Mile: 3:44.39[2]
3000 metres: 7:25.11[2]
5000 metres: 13:03.85[2]

Noureddine Morceli (Arabic: نور الدين مرسلي‎, Nūr ud-Dīn Mursilī; born February 28, 1970) is a retired Algerian middle-distance track athlete, winner of the 1500 m run at the 1996 Summer Olympics. Born in Ténès, Noureddine Morceli rose to athletic prominence after winning the silver medal in the 1500 m at the World Junior Championships in 1988. Morceli attended Riverside Community College in Riverside, California, and throughout his career, in winter, he would return there to enjoy the mild climate and train.

Running career[edit]

Morceli was coached by his brother Abderrahmane[3] who ran for Algeria in the Moscow Olympics of 1980 and in Los Angeles in 1984.

Currently, Morceli serves as an ambassador of the sport by assisting with the International Olympic Commission, the African Games, as well as assisting the development of young track and field athletes in Algeria.

1990–1992[edit]

In 1990, he moved up to senior class and set the seasons best mark of 3:37.87 in 1500 m. He continued this dominance into 1991, when he broke the world indoor record for 1500 m at Seville on February 28, setting a new mark of 3:34.16. Only nine days later, on the same track, he won the 1500 m title at the World Indoor Championships. Throughout the outdoor season 1991 Morceli remained undefeated over 1500 m. At several Grand Prix meetings he ran times around 3:31 min. At the World Championships in Tokyo, Morceli was already a clear favourite for the 1500 m and he won easily. He set a new World Championships record (3:32.84) and finished with a remarkable two-second-lead between him and the silver medallist Wilfred Kirochi (Kenya).

In the beginning of 1992, Morceli ran a new 1000 m indoor world record of 2:15.26. There seemed to be no greater certainty for a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Barcelona later that year than Morceli.[citation needed] But prior to the Olympic Games Morceli lost unexpectedly to Gennaro di Napoli in Rome and David Kibet in Oslo. There were signs that he was not in the same shape as the year before. However, in the Olympic semi-final he looked strong. The Olympic final was run at a woefully slow pace, with the field passing through the 800 m mark in a slower time than in the women's final. That was not the sort of pace to which Morceli had become accustomed, or that he was comfortable with, and when the frantic sprint for home began, he found himself unable to respond, eventually finishing a disappointing seventh. Only three days after the final Morceli set a world season's best in Monaco and a week later he broke his personal best to win in Zurich in 3:30.76. In September 1992 Morceli set a new 1500 m world record of 3:28.86 in Rieti.

1993–1995[edit]

In 1993 Morceli narrowly missed his own world record when he won the Mediterranean Games in Narbonne in 3:29.20 min. By that time Morceli had set himself a new aim: to break Steve Cram's eight-year-old record over the Mile (3:46.32). Throughout the season he was virtually without any serious competitors. In Monaco he narrowly missed the 3000 m world record. There was even talk that he might skip the World Championships in order to concentrate fully on the world-record hunt. However, in the end he decided to take part. At the World Championships in Stuttgart, the final of 1500 m started at a relatively slow pace, but Morceli was always in complete control, sprinting away in the last lap to win easily and retain his world title. In the following weeks he failed twice to set a new world record over the Mile in Berlin and Brussels. But just two days after the race in Brussels he astonished everyone by crushing the old record with a time of 3:44.39.

In 1994, he set the new 3000 m world record, clocking 7:25.11. He also experimented successfully with the 5000 m. In Zurich he outsprinted the rest of the field to take the victory and also won the 5000 m race in Rieti. The only defeat of the season came when Morceli opted for an unusual 800 m appearance in Cologne. Morceli broke the 2000 m world record in the following season, setting a new mark of 4:47.88. Nine days later Morceli set the last world record of his magnificent career, when he lowered his own 1500 m record to 3:27.37 in Nice.[4] Only a few days after this he almost broke the record again when he triumphed in 3:27.52 in Monaco. Later on that year he defended easily the 1500 m World Champion title in Gothenburg. Shortly after, Morceli tried to improve on his Mile record in Zurich but did not succeed.

1996–2000[edit]

At the start of the 1996 season, Morceli set a world season's best of 3:29.50. However, a new and serious opponent suddenly appeared on the scene, when Hicham El Guerrouj won in Hengelo in a time of 3:29.51. At the 1996 Summer Olympics, Morceli was under enormous pressure. The final was run at an average pace when his main rival, Hicham El Guerrouj, fell down on the final lap. Morceli accelerated and crossed the line first ahead of the defending Olympic champion, Fermín Cacho. At the end of 1996 Morceli suffered his first 1500 m defeat in four years at the hands of El Guerrouj in Milan. In the 1997 World Championships at Athens, Morceli was fourth in 1500 m and in 1999, at Seville, he qualified for his fifth straight 1500 m final at a World Championships, where he dropped out at the bell while well out of medal contention. Morceli's last appearance at a major international championships was at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Noureddine Morceli". sports-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e IAAF. "Athlete profile for Noureddine Morceli". 
  3. ^ encyclopedia britannica. "Noureddine Morceli". Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "World Outdoor Lists 1500 Metres All Time Men". Archived from the original on 2007-05-22. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 

External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by
Morocco Saïd Aouita
Men's 1,500 m World Record Holder
September 6, 1992 – July 14, 1998
Succeeded by
Morocco Hicham El Guerrouj
Preceded by
United Kingdom Steve Cram
Men's Mile World Record Holder
September 5, 1993 — July 7, 1999
Succeeded by
Morocco Hicham El Guerrouj
Preceded by
Kenya Moses Kiptanui
Men's 3,000 m World Record Holder
August 2, 1994 — September 1, 1996
Succeeded by
Kenya Daniel Komen
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
United States Kevin Young
Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
1993 – 1994
Succeeded by
Ethiopia Haile Gebrselassie
Preceded by
United States Michael Jordan
L'Équipe Champion of Champions
1993
Succeeded by
Brazil Romario
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Kenya Moses Kiptanui
Men's 3,000 m Best Year Performance
1993 — 1994
Succeeded by
Kenya Moses Kiptanui
Preceded by
Somalia Abdi Bile
Men's 1,500m Best Year Performance
1990 – 1995
Succeeded by
Morocco Hicham El Guerrouj