Moroccan Najim El Qady, the 2011 winner, won the 37th Brussels 20 km on Sunday. He finished in 1h00:18. He beat Regis Thonon (1h02:07), who came 2nd, and Abdelhadi El Hachimi (1h03:03), who came third. El Hachimi won last year.
In the women’s race, Manuela Soccol won for the second year running, with a time of 1h13:51. Soccol beat Hélène Depoorter, who came second with a time of 1h16:25. Kabiratou Nassam Alassani, from Benin, came third with a time of 1h16:45.
Abdelhadi El Hachimi will have altitude training to prepare for the Gold Coast marathon in Australia, on the 3rd of July. This will be his last hurdle to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio (5th – 21st August). The SMAC athlete from Namur, who is coached by André Mahy, will have to run faster than 2h21:51 to become one of the three chosen athletes. The required time of 2h21:51 was run by Florent Caelen at the Berlin marathon in September 2015 (RCFL).
On that day in Berlin, El Hachimi saw two other runners do better than the 2h13:10 he ran at the Hamburg marathon on the 17th of April 2015. These athletes were Willem Van Schuerbeeck (VAC) and Koen Naert (RESC). They ran 2h12:49 and 2h10:31 respectively.