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IAAF.org:I am a human being, not a robot - says Hicham El Guerrouj

Since then El Guerrouj has won a further three World 1500m titles


Rome, Italy - Among the numerous stars who will take part in the MGK-Vis Golden Gala (2 July), the second leg of the TDK Golden League 2004, Hicham El Guerrouj is probably the one most familiar to the Italian capital.

Famously the 29-year-old Moroccan set two outstanding World records on the track of the Olympic Stadium in Rome, the 1500m best mark in 1998 and one year later the fastest ever time in the Mile.

Since then El Guerrouj has won a further three World 1500m titles - in addition to the one he won in Athens 1997 the first World gold of his superb career - and now only lacks an Olympic victory.

Confident of Athens success

Yet despite the constant demands of journalists and fans alike, El Guerrouj seems to finally be a man at peace with himself.

“Everyone, including myself, knows that I have never won an Olympic title yet I feel extremely confident. It is true that I am currently well “down” in the world performance lists but since the birth of my daughter Hiba I have been feeling very “high”.

Standing in 29th place in the 2004 World Outdoor lists for 1500m following his opening and only 1500m of the season, El Guerrouj knows that his time of 3:36.46 which he ran in Zaragoza on 8 June does not do justice to his current physical shape.

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