Mehdi Baala

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Mehdi Baala
Mehdi Baala.jpg
Personal information
Born (1978-08-17) 17 August 1978 (age 42)
Strasbourg, France
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight65 kg (143 lb)
Sportmiddle-distance running

Mehdi Baala (Arabic: مهدي بعلة‎; born 17 August 1978 in Strasbourg) is a French, middle-distance runner competing mainly in the 1500 metres event. Baala has won several major international championships medals in the 1500 metres event – an Olympic Games bronze, a World Championships silver, two European Championships golds and a European Indoor Championships bronze.[1][2] Moreover, he has won several medals in the 1500 metres event of the European Cup, IAAF World Cup and the IAAF World Athletics Final. Baala is considered to be the best French middle-distance runner of all time. As of July 2013, he holds French national outdoor records for four distances (800m: 1.43.15, 1000m: 2.13.96, 1500m: 3.28.98 and 2000m: 4.53.12; all of these were set from 2002 to 2005) and French national indoor records for four distances (800m, 1000m, 1500m and the mile; all of these were set from 2003 to 2009).

Baala won the silver medal at the 2003 World Championships in the 1500 metres event. At the 2007 World Championships in Osaka in 2007, he finished first in his 1500 metres semi-final heat but was disqualified for causing the fall of two other athletes.[3]

Baala finished fourth in the 1500 metres final at the 2000 Olympics. At the 2008 Olympics, Baala won the bronze medal for the 1500 metres event. He had initially finished in fourth place in the final once again, but the initial winner Rashid Ramzi was stripped of his gold medal when he was found guilty of doping and hence Baala was elevated to receive the bronze medal.

On 22 July 2011, immediately after the 1500m race of the Monaco meeting of the IAAF Diamond League, Baala and his fellow competitor and compatriot Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad traded blows on the track. The French Athletics Federation handed Baala and Mekhissi-Benabbad a suspension of 10 months each – 5 months suspended – from all European Athletics and IAAF track meets. Both were each fined 1500 euros and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service. Baala and Mekhissi-Benabbad were nevertheless cleared to take part in the upcoming 2011 World Championships[4][5]

Results in international competitions[edit]

Note: Only the position and time in the final are indicated, unless otherwise stated; if the athlete did not qualify for the final, the overall position and time in the first round heats or semifinals are indicated.

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  France
1996 World Junior Championships Sydney, Australia 33rd (1st round heats) 1500 m 4:21.48
1997 European Junior Championships Ljubljana, Slovenia 7th 1500 m 3:49.51
1999 European U23 Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 3rd 1500 m 3:45.41
2000 European Indoor Championships Ghent, Belgium 3rd 1500 m 3:42.27
Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 4th 1500 m 3:34.14
European Cup Gateshead, England 1st 1500 m 3:41.75
European Cup Gateshead, England 1st 800 m 1:47.90
2001 World Championships Edmonton, Canada 12th 1500 m 3:55.36
European Cup Bremen, Germany 2nd 1500 m 3:46.29
2002 European Championships Munich, Germany 1st 1500 m 3:45.25
European Cup Annecy, France 1st 1500 m 3:47.21
IAAF World Cup Madrid, Spain 3rd 1500 m 3:38.04
2003 World Championships Paris, France 2nd 1500 m 3:32.31
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 30th (1st round heats) 1500 m 3:46.06 (1st round heats)
European Cup Bydgoszcz, Poland 1st 1500 m 3:49.13
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 6th 800 m 1:45.32
19th (semifinals) 1500 m 3:41.34 (semifinals)
2006 European Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 1st 1500 m 3:39.02
1st round heat – DNS 800 m DNS
2007 European Cup Munich, Germany 1st 1500 m 3:47.36
IAAF World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 2nd 1500 m 3:38.35
World Championships Osaka, Japan DQ (semifinals) 1500 m DQ
2008 European Cup Annecy, France 1st 1500 m 3:40.55
Olympic Games Beijing, China 3rd 1500 m 3:34.21
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 7th 1500 m 3:36.99
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 9th 1500 m 3:37.46


  1. ^ Day 3 Munich 2002 The European Championships section – Time-to-Run – EuroChamps information Archived 13 September 2012 at
  2. ^ Superb Baala defends 1500m title. BBC Sport. 9 August 2006
  3. ^ Osaka 2007 – News – Event report: Men’s 1500m semi-finals Archived 19 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine. 27 August 2007
  4. ^ "French runners provisionally suspended after Monaco brawl". BBC. 23 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Brawling runners cleared for worlds". ESPN and Associated Press. 4 August 2011.

External links[edit]