Marathon des sables

Retrato

Aziza El Amrany or the hope of a new Moroccan title

37th Marathon des sables

In the absence of the last Moroccan woman to have won the Marathon des sables in the women's ranking, Aziza El Amrany has found herself at the center of attention: the hopes of a possible new Moroccan victory now rest on her shoulders.

The 33-year-old native of Fez is participating in the Marathon des sables for only the second time. But if Aziza El Amrany raises so much hope, it is because her performance during her baptism of fire, last year, did not go unnoticed: she managed to climb on the women's podium after finishing the event in third place in the women's ranking.

She plans to go one better this year, taking the top spot in the women's rankings. To achieve this, she says she has been training hard. "I've been training almost every day for the past 12 months in Fez, and sometimes in the heat." 

Nadia Diouri, who shares the same tent, says she naturally has high hopes for Aziza El Amrany, whom she considers one of the favorites this year. "She has a good chance to climb the podium and finish first in the women's ranking," she says. Especially since, according to Nadia Diouri, Aziza El Amrany arrived "very motivated", serene and, above all, "well prepared mentally and physically".

 

From one Aziza to another…

If Aziza El Amrany manages to win the title, she will succeed her compatriot Aziza Raji on the women's podium. She is the last Moroccan to have won the title in 2021, 13 years after the coronation of Didi Touda, who won in 2008 and 2009.
"We are all behind her so that Morocco can be ranked 1st this year," said Nadia Diouri.

In order to do so, Aziza El Amrany will face fierce competition, including the Dutch Ragna Debats. For her first participation in the Marathon des sables in 2019, she had survived the race without too much opposition from her competitors. At 44 years old, Ragna Debats is back at the Marathon des sables for the second time, with the status of a favorite.
Besides the winner of the 2019 edition, another opponent to watch is undoubtedly Maryline Nakache. At 38 years old, the particularity of the French long-distance enthusiast is the fact that she has won fifty percent in all the races that she has participated in since 2017.

The Belgian Manuela Socco could also create a surprise. A seasoned athlete, she has 6 victories in as many participations in ultra events to her credit, not to mention that she represented her country at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Aziza El Amrany finished the first stage in third place, behind Ragna Debates and Maryline Nakache, but hopes to make up for it in the next stages.
 

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