Saïd Aouita: Wikis

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Said Aouita
Said Aouita.jpg
Nationality: Moroccan
Date of birth: 2 November 1959 (1959-11-02) (age 50)
Place of birth: Kenitra, Morocco
Residence: Miami, USA Doha, Qatar
Height: 1m76
Weight: 65 kgs
Medal record
Competitor for  Morocco
Men's Athletics
Olympic Games
Gold 1984 Los Angeles 5000 m
Bronze 1988 Seoul 800 m
World Championships
Gold 1987 Rome 5000 m
Bronze 1983 Helsinki 1500 m
World Indoor Championships
Gold 1989 Budapest 3000 m
Mediterranean Games
Gold 1983 Casablanca 800 m
Gold 1983 Casablanca 1500 m
Gold 1987 Latakia 1500 m
Gold 1987 Latakia 5000 m
Silver 1987 Latakia 3000 m steeplechase

Saïd Aouita (Arabic: سعيد عويطة‎) (born 2 November 1959) is a former Moroccan athlete, winner of 5000 meters at the 1984 Summer Olympics, 5000 meters at the World Championship, in Roma, 3000 meters at the World Indoor Championships, in Budapest, and held many World records (1500m (3.29:45) – 2000m (4.50:80) -3000m (7.29:46) - Twice 5000m (13.00:40) and (12.58:58). After years of disappearance from the Moroccan athletics scene due to his academic studies in Arizona, USA.

Contents

Background

Said Aouita was born in a Moroccan coastal city called Kenitra on the second of November in 1959. Nine years later, he moved along with his family to Fes due to the nature of his father's work. He used to spend most of his time playing football insomuch that he was believed to be a great footballer; however, his outstanding skills in running made his coaches foresee a great legend in athletics in the future.

Said Aouita is a Moroccan athlete and one of the most versatile middle and long distance runners, dominating all distances between 800 and 10000 meters during the eighties. He raced and won against the Olympic champions Joaquim Cruz, Peter Rono, John Ngugi and Alberto Cova over their respective main distances. Between September 1983 and September 1990 he won 115 of his 119 races. The defeats were against world champion Steve Cram over 1500 m, Olympic bronze medalist Alessandro Lambruschini over 3000 m steeplechase, Olympic champions Joaquin Cruz and Paul Ereng over 800 m and world champion Yobes Ondieki over 5000 m.

Education

He has a (BS) Bachelor of Science Degree in Management and (MBA) Master Degree in Business Administration, University of Phoenix, Arizona, USA. At present time, he is pursuing his Doctorate in Sport Management and Leadership. His subject of concern is a model for elite athlete achievement in Olympics. Specially, he is interested in the impact of sport business and coaching the young athletes to be one day Olympic champion.

Family

Said Aouita got married to Khadija Skhir in 1983, one year before winning the Olympic games. Aouita has four children; One boy (Adil Aouita) and Three daughters (Soukaina, Sarah, and Zeena).

Sport Career

The 1983 world championship held in Helsinki was his real start towards the stardom. He contested the 1500m and did not work well for him. In the final, the pace dawdled for the first 1000 m, tactics that did not suit Aouita, and he was outkicked by the kickers, finishing third.


After world championships experience, in 1984, Aouita decided to run 5000 m at the Los Angeles, California Olympics. The 5000 m final was run at a very fast pace set by Antonio Leitão from Portugal, which suited Aouita much better than the tactics used in Helsinki. He stayed behind Leitão and then sprinted past him on the last lap to win. Immediately after, he won the golden medal of 5000m at Los Angeles Olympics. He became the best athlete in middle distance in the world by winning many different races from 800m to 10000m.


1985 was a year of beating records for Aouita par excellence. He ran two world records: At first in 5000 m (13:00.40) in Oslo on the 27th of July and then in 1500 m (3:29.46) on the 23rd of August.


In 1987, Aouita's main objective was to excel in the world championship held in Rome and beat more records. At first, He broke 2000 m world record with a time of 4:50.81 in Paris and only six days later, he surprised the whole world by breaking his own world record for 5000m and became the first man to go under 13 minutes, finishing in 12:58.39. For the World Championships decided just to contest the 5000 m. In the 5000 m final, John Ngugi from Kenya set a fair pace, but by no means fast. Aouita, always in control of the race, made his move just before the bell, leading a mass sprint for the finish that he won in 13:26.44.


At the Seoul Olympics 1988, he attempted to try the 800m and 1500m but had he a hamstring injury made him finish third in 800m and withdraw the 1500m though he qualified for the semi-final. In spite of that his bronze medal made him the only athlete in history to combine medals at both 800m and 5000m.


In 1989, Aouita won the World Indoor Championships in 3000 m in Budapest and broke the world record of the same distance in Köln in Germany by the time of 7:29.45 and thus, he was the first man in history to go under 7:30:00.


In the early nineties, Aouita went through a surgery in his leg, after which his doctors advised him to put an end to his career as an athlete for his health; and after a set of failures in a number of races he decided to quit athletics after extraordinary feats and outstanding accomplishments.

Coaching and journalism

After his athletics career ended, Aouita worked with mixed success as a Consultant of numerous remarkable sport institutions, Technical National Manager in Morocco, and National Distance Coach in Australia thanks not only to his fruitful field experience, but also to his academic competences. Now, Aouita is working as Senior Analyst for Al Jazeera Sports Channel.

Career Achievement

Olympic Games:

• Gold in Los Angeles (5000m) 1984

• Bronze in Seoul (800m) 1988

World Championship Outdoor:

• Gold in Rome (5000m) 1987

• Bronze in Helsinki (1500m) 1983

World Championship Indoor:

• Gold medal in (3000m) in 1989 in Budapest

World Cup:

• Gold medal in (5000m) in 1989 in Barcelona

African Championships:

• Gold medal in (1500m) in 1984 in Rabat

Arab Games: • Gold medal in (1500m) in 1985 in Casablanca

Mediterranean Games:

• Gold medal in (800m/1500m) in 1983 in Casablanca

• Gold medal in (1500m/5000m) in 1987 in Latakia, Syria

Universiade Games Bucarest 1981:

• Gold Medal in (1500m) and breaking the Games Record

World Records: • 1500m (Berlin, 1985)

• 2000m (Paris, 1987)

• 5000m (Oslo, 1985 and Rome, 1987)

• Double Mile (Turin, 1987)

Awards and Distinctions

• Best Athlete of the Year Track & Field News 1985

• Best Arab Athlete of the Century by “Al Jazzera TV” 2000

• Winner of the Jess Owens Trophy, the most prestigious world athletics distinction 1986

• 44 Successive victories in international races from 800m to 10000m in less than 26 months

• 3 Times winner final Grand Prix (800m, 1500m, and 5000m)

• Honored by International Amateur Athletics Federation for Career Achievement in 2001

• Many Merit Medals by The King Hassan II

Records

World Records

1985

5000m: 13’00”40

1500m: 3’29”46

1987

Two Miles: 8’13”46

2000m: 4’50”80

5000m: 12’58”39

1989

3000m: 7’29”46

References

IAAF profile for Said Aouita

Sports Reference

Famous Why

Sports Illustrated

Records
Preceded by
United Kingdom Steve Cram
Men's 1,500 m World Record Holder
23 August 1985 – 6 September 1992
Succeeded by
Algeria Noureddine Morceli
Preceded by
Kenya Henry Rono
Men's 3,000 m World Record Holder
20 August 1989 — 16 August 1992
Succeeded by
Kenya Moses Kiptanui
Preceded by
United Kingdom David Moorcroft
Men's 5000m World Record Holder
22 July 1985 – 4 June 1994
Succeeded by
Ethiopia Haile Gebrselassie
Awards
Preceded by
United States Carl Lewis
Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
1985
Succeeded by
Soviet Union Yuriy Syedikh
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Portugal Fernando Mamede
Men's 5,000 m Best Year Performance
1984 — 1987
Succeeded by
Kenya John Ngugi
Preceded by
United States Doug Padilla
Men's 3,000 m Best Year Performance
1984 — 1986
Succeeded by
West Germany Dieter Baumann
Preceded by
United Kingdom Sebastian Coe
Men's 1,500 m Best Year Performance
1987
Succeeded by
United Kingdom Steve Cram
Preceded by
United States Sydney Maree
Men's 3,000 m Best Year Performance
1989
Succeeded by
Morocco Khalid Skah

References

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