Rhadi Ben Abdesselam
Rhadi Ben Abdesselam (left) and Abebe Bikila at the 1960 Olympics
|Born||28 February 1929 in|
Ksar es Souk, Morocco
|Died||4 October 2000 (aged 71)|
|Height||180 cm (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||65 kg (143 lb)|
|Event(s)||10,000 m, marathon|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||10,000 m – 29:20.8 (1960)|
Marathon – 2:15:41.6 (1960)
Rhadi Ben Abdesselam (Arabic: راضي بن عبد السلام; 28 February 1929 – 4 October 2000) was a Moroccan long-distance runner. He competed at the 1960 Olympics in the marathon and 10,000 meters events.
He also ran in the International Cross Country Championships in 1958–1963. In March 1960, he and Belgium's Gaston Roelants quickly broke away from the field, and he became the first African athlete to win the individual gold medal in that event, defeating Roelants by 40 yards.
On September 8, 1960, he finished in 14th place in the finals-only 10,000 meters, in 29:32.0, almost a minute behind the winner, the Soviet Union's Pyotr Bolotnikov, who broke the Olympic record for the event.
Just two days later, the blazing pace through the first 20 kilometers in the marathon helped result in an eventual world record for the barefoot winner, Ethiopia's Abebe Bikila. After they dispatched the rest of the field by 25 kilometers, the leading pair stayed stride-for-stride until the final 500 meters, with Ben Abdesselam finishing a close second in 2:15:41.6, 25.4 seconds behind Abebe's new world record. Abebe's mark trimmed 8/10ths of a second off Sergei Popov's world record of 2:15:17.0, set in 1958. Ironically, Abebe had been advised to watch out for Ben Abdesselam, but the latter wore his 10,000 meter competition number, so Abebe was unaware of the identity of his pursuer. Popov finished 5th in Rome, two minutes behind New Zealand's Barry Magee, who took the bronze medal.
1960 Olympic Marathon You Tube video
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rhadi Ben Abdesselam.|
- Rhadi Ben Abdesselam. Sports Reference.
- Hutchinson, Andrew Boyd (January 2018). The Complete History of Cross-Country Running: From the Nineteenth Century to the Present Day. New York: Skyhorse Publishing. pp. 89, 99. ISBN 978-1-631-44076-2.
- "Athletics at the 1960 Rome Games: Men's 10,000 metres". sports-reference.com. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
- "Athletics at the 1960 Rome Summer Games: Men's Marathon". sports-reference.com. Retrieved 2 January 2017.