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Moroccan Runner Hicham El-Guerrouj Pulls Out of World Athletics Final - 2003-09-14


Moroccan running star Hicham El-Guerrouj pulled out of Sunday's 1,500 meter event at the inaugural World Athletics Final in Monaco.

International Association of Athletics Federations officials say El Guerrouj dropped out of the race because of fatigue and a temperature. The Moroccan won the 1,500 at the world championships in Paris last month and currently tops the IAAF World Rankings. That puts him in the running to collect $100,000 in prize money and the title of World Athlete of the Year. Despite pulling out, El-Guerrouj is nearly certain to win the year-end award and money. He has accumulated 1450 points, with Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele in second with 1441 and American 110-meter star Allen Johnson in third with 1440. Qatar's world steeplechase champion Saif Saaeed Shaheen would need to break the world record of seven minutes, 54.49 seconds on Sunday to overhaul El Guerrouj.

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