Abderrahim Goumri

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Abderrahim Goumri (Arabic: عبد الرحيم الغومري‎‎; 21 May 1976 – 19 January 2013 in Temara, Morocco)[1] was a Moroccan long-distance runner. He had competed in cross country, track, road running and marathon races.

He spent the early part of his career in Norway and established himself with performances at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, where he helped his nation to team bronze medals at the 2002 and 2003 editions. He reached the 5000 metres track finals at the 2003 World Championships and the 2004 Summer Olympics. In 2005 he ran a career best of 12:50.25 minutes for the distance to take eleventh place on the all-time lists.

From 2007 onwards he focused on marathon running and was runner-up at both the London and New York races that year. He set a Moroccan record of 2:05:30 hours for third at the 2008 London Marathon, becoming the sixth fastest marathoner at that point. He was the runner-up at the 2008 New York Marathon and the 2009 Chicago Marathon. In spite of good performances at major races on the circuit, he has not performed well in the event at championships—finishing twentieth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and failing to finish at the World Championships in 2007, 2009 and 2011.

On 7 June 2012, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced that Goumri was provisionally suspended on the basis of abnormal blood values in his "biological passport." The French newspaper L'Équipe reported that the IAAF was recommending a suspension of two to four years for the doping offense. He received a four-year suspension.[2]

Goumri died on 19 January 2013 in a car crash in Temara, Morocco while en route to Rabat.[3]


Early competitions

Initially running for the prestigious Olympique de Safi club, Goumri's first international appearance for Morocco came as a junior at the 1995 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, where he came 25th and shared in the bronze junior team medal.[4] Early on in his career, he was based in Norway. He ran at the Tromsø Midnight Sun Marathon 1997 and won in a time of 2:30:54 hours.[5] In 1999, he won the Norwegian championships in both 1500 metres and 5000 metres.[6][7][8] Like his fellow countryman Khalid Skah, who won the Norwegian 5000 m championships in 1997, 1998 and 2000, Goumri represented the athletics club IL i BUL. He took consecutive wins at the Eurocross meeting in Luxembourg, having taken the title in 2000 and 2001.[9]

He focused on track running in 2001: he was part of a Moroccan sweep of the medals in the 5000 m at the Jeux de la Francophonie (taking silver).,[10] later running in the 10,000 metres final at the 2001 World Championships in Athletics. He closed his track season with a tenth-place finish in the 3000 metres at the 2001 IAAF Grand Prix Final.[11]

He proved himself as a versatile performer over the following seasons, competing on various surfaces and distances. He was seventh in the long race at the 2002 IAAF World Cross Country Championships (helping Morocco to the team bronze) and narrowly missed out on a 10,000 m medal with a fourth-place finish at the 2002 African Championships in Athletics. His tenth and fifteenth position finishes in the short and long race of the 2003 IAAF World Cross Country Championships brought two further team bronze medals for Morocco. He also performed well on the track, coming ninth over 3000 metres at the 2003 IAAF World Indoor Championships and then tenth outdoors in the 5000 m at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics. That October he came twelfth at the 2003 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, aiding his country to fourth in the team rankings.[11]

Olympic debut

Goumri improved one place to 14th in the long race at the 2004 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, but the Moroccans were edged into fourth by the Eritrean team.[12] Track became his focus that year and he made his Olympic debut in August, reaching the 5000 m final at the 2004 Athens Olympics and ending the race in 13th place. He was ninth at the 2004 IAAF World Athletics Final,[11] but gained a medal on the regional stage as he took the silver behind Khoudir Aggoune at the Pan Arab Games.[13] Eighteenth in the short race at the 2005 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, he and his teammates Adil Kaouch, Mohamed Moustaoui and Hicham Bellani were again the fourth best (beaten this time by Qatar).[14]

He set a personal best for the 10,000 m in May, running a time of 27:02.62 minutes, and came eighth in the event final at that year's World Championships. He scored another track career best at the Memorial van Damme in August with a time of 12:50.25 minutes for the 5000 m – a mark which ranked him eleventh on the all-time lists behind Hicham El Guerrouj.[15] However, this form did not translate to the 3000 m, which he ran at the 2005 IAAF World Athletics Final and managed only tenth overall.[11] The 2005 Jeux de la Francophonie was his year-ending competition and he opted for the 10,000 m, securing a silver behind the Rwandan Dieudonné Disi.[16]

In 2006 he had his last year running on the track, but managed a career best indoors over the 5000 m (13:29.55) in Stockholm that February. He continued having success at the 2006 IAAF World Cross Country Championships as he was eleventh in the long race, completing the race as the first non-East African finisher.[17] He began to make a transition to road running and at the end of the year he claimed a victory at the BOclassic 10 km.[18]

Transition to marathon

Despite the fact that Goumri was 21st at the 2007 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, a strong overall team performance (including Anis Selmouni and Ahmed Baday) brought him his first team silver medal at the event.[19] Goumri had a very successful return to the marathon (his first since 1997) at the 2007 London Marathon, finishing second in 2:07:44, just three seconds behind Martin Lel.[20] He competed in his new speciality at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics, but did not manage to finish the race.[11] Goumri looked to make amends for that performance by signing up for the New York City Marathon. Just as in London, the race came down to a battle between Lel and the Moroccan, and history repeated itself as the Kenyan sprinted ahead to win while Goumri settled for second (recording a time of 2:09:16).[21]

In an exceptionally fast race at the 2008 London Marathon, Goumri ended the race in third but still set a Moroccan national record of 2:05:30 to become the sixth fastest ever over the distance. He ran at the 2008 Beijing Olympics but again he faltered on the championship stage, ending the race in 20th almost ten minutes off his best.[22] New York was again a venue for redemption and, although he controlled the race from the front in the latter stages, he faded in the final stretch and allowed Marilson Gomes Dos Santos to beat him into second place.[23]

At the 2009 London Marathon, he was sixth and there was no improvement at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, where he again dropped out of the race.[24] He ran a tempered race at the 2009 Chicago Marathon and his decision to ignore the fast opening pace paid off, as he overhauled all but Samuel Wanjiru and recorded his second fastest ever time with 2:06:04.[22][25] Goumri placed third at the 2010 Philadelphia Half Marathon in September.[26] Two months later he ran at the 2010 New York City Marathon and came fourth, ten seconds adrift of third-placer Moses Kigen Kipkosgei.[27]

He began 2011 with his first run in Asia at the Seoul International Marathon in March and he saw off defending champion Sylvester Teimet to win the race in a time of 2:09:11 hours.[28]


Abderrahim Goumri died on 19 January 2013 in a car crash in Temara, Morocco, while en route to Rabat. He was 36.[3][29][30]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Morocco
2001 Jeux de la Francophonie Ottawa, Canada 2nd 5000 m
World Championships Edmonton, Canada 16th 10,000 m
2002 World Cross Country Championships Dublin, Ireland 7th Long race
3rd Team
African Championships Radès, Tunisia 4th 10,000 m
2003 World Cross Country Championships Lausanne, Switzerland 10th Short race
3rd Team
15th Long race
3rd Team
World Indoor Championships Birmingham, England 9th 3000 m
World Championships Paris, France 10th 5000 m
World Half Marathon Championships Vilamoura, Portugal 12th Half marathon
2004 World Cross Country Championships Brussels, Belgium 14th Long race
4th Team
Olympic Games Athens, Greece 13th 5000 m
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 9th 5000 m
Pan Arab Games Algiers, Algeria 2nd 5000 m
2005 World Cross Country Championships Saint-Étienne, France 18th Short race
4th Team
World Championships Helsinki, Finland 8th 10,000 m
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 10th 3000 m
Jeux de la Francophonie Niamey, Niger 2nd 10,000 m
2006 World Cross Country Championships Fukuoka, Japan 11th Long race
4th Team
2007 World Cross Country Championships Mombasa, Kenya 21st Senior race
2nd Team
World Championships Osaka, Japan Marathon DNF
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 20th Marathon
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany Marathon DNF
Chicago Marathon Chicago, USA 2nd Marathon 2:06:04 [31]

Personal bests


  1. Goumri, Abderrahim. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  2. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
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  4. Benchrif, Mohamed (2011-09-15). Focus on Athletes - Abderrahim Goumri. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  5. Loonstra, Klaas & Gasparovic, Juraj (2010-06-28). Midnight Sun Marathon. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  6. Norwegian Championships - GBR Athletics
  7. Norwegian championships in 1500 metres
  8. Norwegian championships in 5000 metres
  9. Civai, Franco & Gasparovic, Juraj (2009-02-28). Eurocross 10.2 km (men) + 5.3 km (women). Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2010-03-01.
  10. Francophone Games. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Goumri, Abderrahim. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  12. 2004 World XC - Men's Long Race Team. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  13. 10e Jeux PANARABES. Fédération Tunisienne d'Athlétisme. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  14. 2005 World XC - Men's Short Race Team. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  15. 5000 Metres All Time. IAAF (2010-09-04). Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  16. 2005 Francophonie Games Results. Athlé. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  17. 2006 World XC - Men's Long Race. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  18. Civai, Franco & Gasparovic, Juraj (2011-01-03). Corsa Internazionale di San Silvestro. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  19. 2007 World XC - Men's Senior Race Team. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  20. Downes, Steven (2008-04-22). Zhou demolishes and Lel out-sprints rivals in the heat of London. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  21. Dunaway, James (2007-11-04). Radcliffe and Lel pull off stunning victories in New York. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Abderrahim Goumri. World Marathon Majors. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  23. Dunaway, James (2008-11-02). Radcliffe retains her title, Gomes dos Santos regains his - New York Marathon report. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  24. Marathon results (Archived 2009-09-08). IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  25. Goumri, Abderrahim. Marathon Info. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  26. Larkin, Duncan (2010-09-20). Defar clocks 1:07:44 in Half Marathon debut in Philadelphia. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-09-20.
  27. Dunaway, James (2010-11-07). Gebremariam and Kiplagat cruise to New York victories. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  28. Jalava, Mirko (2011-03-20). Goumri and Guta take victories in Seoul. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  29. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  30. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  31. "Wanjiru in grand old time"

External links