Nawal El Moutawakel
Nawal El Moutawakel ( 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.
She was also the first Moroccan and the first woman from a Muslim majority country to win an Olympic gold medal. 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 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. 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.
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.
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 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. Since 2012 she is a Vice-President of the IOC.
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.
El Moutawakel was also one of the ambassadors of the Morocco bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
|1979||Mediterranean Games||Split, Yugoslavia||6th||100 m||12.13|
|1981||Arab Championships||Tunis, Tunisia||1st||100 m||11.86|
|World Cup||Rome, Italy||8th||100 m||11.921|
|7th||4×100 m relay||46.151|
|1982||African Championships||Cairo, Egypt||2nd||100 m||11.7|
|1st||100 m hurdles||13.8|
|1st||400 m hurdles||58.42|
|1983||Maghreb Championships||Casablanca, Morocco||1st||200 m||24.0|
|1st||100 m hurdles||13.4|
|1st||400 m hurdles||58.5|
|World Championships||Helsinki, Finland||33rd (h)||100 m hurdles||14.85|
|12th (sf)||400 m hurdles||57.10|
|Mediterranean Games||Casablanca, Morocco||1st||400 m hurdles||56.59|
|1984||African Championships||Rabat, Morocco||1st||200 m||23.93|
|1st||400 m hurdles||56.01|
|Olympic Games||Los Angeles, United States||1st||400 m hurdles||54.61|
|1985||African Championships||Cairo, Egypt||1st||400 m hurdles||56.00|
|Universiade||Kobe, Japan||3rd||400 m hurdles||55.59|
|World Cup||Canberra, Australia||4th||400 m hurdles||56.051|
|7th||4×400 m relay||3:36.861|
|1987||Universiade||Zagreb, Yugoslavia||1st||400 m hurdles||55.21|
|Arab Championships||Algiers, Algeria||1st||200 m||24.33|
|1st||400 m hurdles||59.93|
|World Championships||Rome, Italy||18th (h)||400 m hurdles||57.21|
|Mediterranean Games||Latakia, Syria||1st||400 m hurdles||56.28|