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