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Jaouad Gharib

[Photo of Jaouad Gharib]

2 February 1972

2:05:27 (London, 2009)


22Apr12 Virgin London Marathon 5th 2:07:44
06Nov11 ING New York City Marathon 5th 2:08:27
17Apr11 Virgin London Marathon 6th 2:08:26
25Apr10 Virgin London Marathon 3rd 2:06:55
01Nov09 ING New York City Marathon 3rd 2:10:25
26Apr09 Flora London Marathon 3td 2:05:27
24Aug08 Olympic Games Marathon, Beijing 2nd 2:07:16
10Oct07 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon 2nd 2:11:11
22Apr07 Flora London Marathon 4th 2:07:54
23Apr06 Flora London Marathon 8th 2:08:45
13Aug05 World Championships Marathon 1st 2:10:10
17Apr05 Flora London Marathon 2nd 2:07:49
29Aug04 Olympic Games Marathon, Athens 11th 2:15:12
18Apr04 Flora London Marathon 3rd 2:07:12
30Aug03 World Championships Marathon 1st 2:08:31


03Dec06 Fukuoka Marathon 3rd 2:07:19
13Apr03 Rotterdam Marathon 6th 2:09:15


Jaouad Gharib has placed in the top five of World Marathon Majors 12 times, including a fifth place at the 2012 Virgin London Marathon. His time of 2:07:44 was his record 14th sub-2:10 of his career and at age 39 made him the oldest man to break 2:08.

Gharib shocked the field at the 2003 IAAF World Championships Marathon not only by winning, but by smashing the 20-year-old World Championships record that Rob de Castella had set at the first edition in 1983.

Gharib had run only one previous marathon – a sixth at Rotterdam that April – and had solid, but not spectacular, track bests of 13:19.69 for 5,000 meters and 27:29.51 for 10,000 meters. He was 10th in the 2001 IAAF World Championships 10,000 and second in the 2002 IAAF Half Marathon World Championships.

He then showed his 2003 win was not a fluke by becoming just the second man (after Abel Anton) to successfully defend his World Championships title, with a repeat gold in 2005.

Gharib decided to bypass the 2007 World Championships marathon to contest Chicago. Under extremely warm conditions he seemed to have secured a victory with 50 meters to go, but Patrick Ivuti passed him right at the finish line as both were timed in 2:11:11.

The Beijing Olympic Games Marathon would be another impressive effort for Gharib. He kept falling back from the leaders only to charge back into contact and despite warm conditions smashed the previous Olympic record by more than two minutes. Unfortunately he wound up 44 seconds behind the astonishing gold medal performance of Samuel Wanjiru, but Gharib's silver medal equalled the best-ever Olympic marathon showing by a Moroccan run 48 years earlier by Rhadi ben-Abdesselam.

At London in 2009 it was like a replay of the Olympics with the last three survivors being Gharib, Wanjiru and Tsegaye Kebede, but this time Olympic bronze medalist (as well as Wanjiru) finished ahead of him. Nonetheless, Gharib's finish time of 2:05:27 smashed his PR and set a new Moroccan national record. A year later he ran his second fastest time (2:06:55) to place third.

Gharib ran almost identical times of 2:08:26 and 2:08:27 respectively at London and New York City in 2011. He was 39 years old when he ran the latter time, a world age record.


Jaouad Gharib is a Berber from Khenifra, a town in the Middle Atlas region of Morocco. He didn’t start running until age 22 after being inspired by a television transmission of the Marrakech Marathon.