Nawal El Moutawakel

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Nawal El Moutawakel

El Moutawakel in 2009
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing   Morocco
Olympic Games
1984 Los Angeles 400 m hurdles
Mediterranean Games
1983 Casablanca 400 m hurdles
1987 Latakia 400 m hurdles

Nawal El Moutawakel (Amazigh: Nawal Lmutawakkil; Arabic : نوال المتوكل; born on April 15, 1962 in Casablanca) is a former Moroccan hurdler, who won the inaugural women's 400 metres hurdles event at the 1984 Summer Olympics, thereby becoming the first female Muslim born on the continent of Africa to become an Olympic champion. [1] She was also the first Moroccan and the first woman from a Muslim majority country to win an Olympic gold medal. [2] In 2007, El Moutawakel was named the Minister of Sports in the upcoming cabinet of Morocco.



Although she had been a quite accomplished runner, the victory of El Moutawakel, who studied at Iowa State University [3] at the time, was a surprise. King Hassan II of Morocco telephoned El Moutawakel to give his congratulations, and he declared that all girls born the day of her victory were to be named in her honor. [4] Her medal also meant the breakthrough for sporting women in Morocco and other mostly Muslim countries.

She was a pioneer for Muslim and Arabic athletes in that she confounded long-held beliefs that women of such backgrounds could not succeed in athletics. [5]

In 1993 she started running for fun, a 5 km run for women in Casablanca that has since become the biggest women's race held in a Muslim country, with up to 30,000 who came to run. [3]

In 1995, El Moutawakel became a council member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and in 1998 she became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

El Moutawakel is a member [3] of the International Olympic Committee, and she was the president of evaluation commissions for the selection of the host city for the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympic Games. [6] Since 2012 she is a Vice-President of the IOC. [7]

In 2006, El Moutawakel was one of the eight bearers of the Olympic flag at the 2006 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Turin, Italy. On 26 July 2012, she carried the Olympic torch through Westminster, London, for the London Olympics. [8]

International competitions

Representing   Morocco
1979 Mediterranean Games Split, Yugoslavia 6th100 m 12.13
5th200 m 24.64
1981 Arab Championships Tunis, Tunisia 1st100 m11.86
1st200 m24.30
World Cup Rome, Italy 8th100 m 11.92 1
7th4x100 m relay 46.15 1
1982 African Championships Cairo, Egypt 2nd100 m11.7
1st100 m hurdles13.8
1st400 m hurdles58.42
1983 Maghreb Championships Casablanca, Morocco 1st200 m24.0
1st100 m hurdles13.4
1st400 m hurdles58.5
World Championships Helsinki, Finland 33rd (h)100 m hurdles 14.85
12th (sf)400 m hurdles 57.10
Mediterranean Games Casablanca, Morocco 1st400 m hurdles 56.59
1984 African Championships Rabat, Morocco 1st200 m23.93
1st400 m hurdles56.01
Olympic Games Los Angeles, United States 1st400 m hurdles 54.61
1985 African Championships Cairo, Egypt 1st400 m hurdles56.00
Universiade Kobe, Japan 3rd400 m hurdles55.59
World Cup Canberra, Australia 4th400 m hurdles 56.05 1
7th4x400 m relay 3:36.86 1
1987 Universiade Zagreb, Yugoslavia 1st400 m hurdles55.21
Arab Championships Algiers, Algeria 1st200 m24.33
1st400 m54.28
1st400 m hurdles59.93
World Championships Rome, Italy 18th (h)400 m hurdles 57.21
Mediterranean Games Latakia, Syria 1st400 m hurdles 56.28

1Representing Africa

See also


  1. Billings, Andrew C. (2008). Olympic media. New York: Routledge. p. 3. ISBN   0-415-77250-8 . Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  2. Nawal El Moutawakel Wise Muslim Women. Retrieved 9 April 2011
  3. 1 2 3 Sarah Duguid (June 9, 2012). "The Olympians: Nawal el-Moutawakel, Morocco". Financial TImes Magazine .
  4. Olympic report Archived 15 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine .
  5. Benchrif, Mohamed (1999-03-11). Nawal El Moutawakel - Pioneer and militant for Progress Archived 15 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine .. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-03-31.
  6. IOC Announces 2016 Summer Games Evaluation Commission Archived 26 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine .
  7. Ms Nawal EL MOUTAWAKEL, IOC site.
  8. "BBC - Olympic Torch Relay - Camden to Westminster". Retrieved 2018-05-23.
Preceded by
Dot Richardson
Flo Hyman Memorial Award
Succeeded by
Kristi Yamaguchi