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Hicham El Guerrouj, King of the Mile, could still run fast at 40

Hicham El Guerrouj

MARRAKECH, MOROCCO - SEPTEMBER 14: Hicham El Guerrouj talks to local villages during an IAAF Athletics for a Better World Event at Ait Iktel on September 14, 2014 in Marrakech, Morocco. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

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Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj ran the fastest mile ever 15 years ago, in 3 minutes, 43.13 seconds in Rome on July 7, 1999.

El Guerrouj’s long-awaited Olympic triumph came 10 years ago, when he became the first man since Paavo Nurmi to sweep the 1500m and 5000m in Athens.

El Guerrouj celebrated his 40th birthday on Sunday, appearing at the IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco.

There, he told the IAAF he still runs five or six times per week. But how fast could he run a mile these days?

“Oh, that is a tough one,” El Guerrouj said. “Maybe 4:30 or 4:25. But not 3:43. Not now that I am 40.”

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