Third Time's The Charm

"Never never never give up." Hicham El Guerrouj likes to quote Winston Churchill's famous words. But the Moroccan runner almost did give up — and who could blame him? El Guerrouj had been to the Olympics twice as the favorite in the 1,500 m, a race that requires endurance and finishing speed. Both times, the world-record holder practically had a gold medal engraved with his name before the Games; both times, he lost. In 1996, he tripped and fell on the final lap, finishing last. In 2000, Kenya's Noah Ngeny pipped him at the line, snatching the gold by 0.15 of...

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