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Moroccan runner Hicham El Guerrouj retires

May 22, 2006 at 8:49 PM

CASABLANCA, Morocco, May 22 (UPI) -- Moroccan middle-distance runner Hicham El Guerrouj announced his retirement Monday.

El Guerrouj, 31, hasn't raced since the 2004 Olympics. At the Athens Games, he became the first runner since Paavo Nurmi in 1924 to win both the 1,500 and the 5,000-meter races.

El Guerrouj captured the silver medal in the 1,500-meters at the 2000 Summer Games. A four-time World champion at that distance, He capped his career with his performance in Athens.

El Guerrouj is the current holder of the world records for the 1,500 meters and the one mile, both indoors and out, and has the fastest ever mark for the 2,000 meters. He said he's quitting to focus more time on his family.

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