Former Eastern Kentucky University distance stars Soufiane Bouchikhi and Ole Hesselbjerg delivered stellar performances at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships this week in London.
Bouchikhi, representing Belgium in the biggest international race of his career, finished 16th out of 42 competitors in the men’s 5,000 meters with a time of 13:28.6 on Wednesday. The native of Antwerp placed 11th in his heat, just missing out on qualifying for the finals by one spot and less than one second.
Bouchikhi graduated from EKU in 2014 with a degree in Applied Engineering Management and Technology. He was a six-time All-American for the Colonels from 2010-14.
Hesselbjerg, a 2016 Olympian for his native Denmark, finished 18th out of 45 runners in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase on Sunday, clocking a personal-best time of 8:27.86. Like Bouchikhi, he barely missed advancing to the final.
Hesselbjerg graduated from EKU in 2015 with a physics degree. The native of Charlottenlund, Denmark was a two-time NCAA bronze medalist in the steeplechase (2014 and 2015).
The former EKU teammates are just the latest Colonels to reach the biggest stages of world competition. Jackie Humphrey hurdled her way into the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, while former sprinter Dallas Robinson competed on the USA Bobsled Team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
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