Morocco the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country located in the Maghreb region of North West Africa with an area of 710,850 km2. Its capital is the largest city Casablanca, it overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Morocco claims the areas of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, all of them under Spanish jurisdiction. Since the foundation of the first Moroccan state by Idris I in 788 AD, the country has been ruled by a series of independent dynasties, reaching its zenith under the Almoravid and Almohad dynasties, spanning parts of Iberia and northwestern Africa; the Marinid and Saadi dynasties continued the struggle against foreign domination, allowing Morocco to remain the only northwest African country to avoid Ottoman occupation. The Alaouite dynasty, which rules to this day, seized power in 1631. In 1912, Morocco was divided into French and Spanish protectorates, with an international zone in Tangier, it regained its independence in 1956, has since remained comparatively stable and prosperous by regional standards.
Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara Spanish Sahara, as its Southern Provinces. After Spain agreed to decolonise the territory to Morocco and Mauritania in 1975, a guerrilla war arose with local forces. Mauritania relinquished its claim in 1979, the war lasted until a cease-fire in 1991. Morocco occupies two thirds of the territory, peace processes have thus far failed to break the political deadlock; the unitary sovereign state of Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers over the military, foreign policy and religious affairs. Executive power is exercised by the government, while legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors; the king can issue decrees called dahirs. He can dissolve the parliament after consulting the Prime Minister and the president of the constitutional court.
Morocco's predominant religion is Islam, its official languages are Arabic and Berber. E; the Moroccan dialect of Arabic, referred to as Darija, French are widely spoken. Moroccan culture is a blend of Berber, Sephardi Jews, West African and European influences. Morocco is a member of the Union for the Mediterranean and the African Union, it has the fifth largest economy of Africa. The full Arabic name al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyyah translates to "Kingdom of the West". For historical references, medieval Arab historians and geographers sometimes referred to Morocco as al-Maghrib al-Aqṣá to distinguish it from neighbouring historical regions called al-Maghrib al-Awsaṭ and al-Maghrib al-Adná; the basis of Morocco's English name is Marrakesh, its capital under the Almoravid dynasty and Almohad Caliphate. The origin of the name Marrakesh is disputed, but is most from the Berber words amur akush or "Land of God"; the modern Berber name for Marrakesh is Mṛṛakc. In Turkish, Morocco is known as a name derived from its ancient capital of Fes.
However, this was not the case in other parts of the Islamic world: until the middle of the 20th century, the common name of Morocco in Egyptian and Middle Eastern Arabic literature was Marrakesh. The English name Morocco is an anglicisation of the Spanish "Marruecos", from which derives the Tuscan "Morrocco", the origin of the Italian "Marocco"; the area of present-day Morocco has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, sometime between 190,000 and 90,000 BC. A recent publication may demonstrate an earlier habitation period, as Homo sapiens fossils discovered in the late 2000s near the Atlantic coast in Jebel Irhoud were dated to 315,000 years before present. During the Upper Paleolithic, the Maghreb was more fertile than it is today, resembling a savanna more than today's arid landscape. Twenty-two thousand years ago, the Aterian was succeeded by the Iberomaurusian culture, which shared similarities with Iberian cultures. Skeletal similarities have been suggested between the Iberomaurusian "Mechta-Afalou" burials and European Cro-Magnon remains.
The Iberomaurusian was succeeded by the Beaker culture in Morocco. Mitochondrial DNA studies have discovered the Saami of Scandinavia; this supports theories that the Franco-Cantabrian refuge area of southwestern Europe was the source of late-glacial expansions of hunter-gatherers who repopulated northern Europe after the last ice age. Northwest Africa and Morocco were drawn into the wider emerging Mediterranean world by the Phoenicians, who established trading colonies and settlements in the early Classical period. Substantial Phoenician settlements were at Chellah and Mogador. Mogador was a Phoenician colony as early as the early 6th century BC. Morocco became a realm of the Northwest African civilisation of ancie
Sally Jane Janet Gunnell is a British former track and field athlete who won the 1992 Olympic gold medal in the 400 m hurdles. She is the only female British athlete to have won Olympic, World and Commonwealth titles, is the only female 400 m hurdler in history to have won the Olympic and World titles and broken the world record, she worked as a television presenter, predominantly for the BBC until January 2006. She was made an MBE in 1993 and an OBE in 1998. Gunnell was born in Chigwell, England to Les and Rosemary Gunnell, grew up on the family's three hundred acre farm and attended the local primary and West Hatch High schools in Chigwell. Gunnell started out in athletics with the Essex Ladies club as an accomplished long jumper and heptathlete, before specialising in hurdling. In 1984, she narrowly missed Olympic selection at both heptathlon, with a score of 5680 points and in the 100 metres hurdles, where she set a UK junior record of 13.30 secs. In 1986, having won the AAAs and UK titles, Gunnell won the Commonwealth Games gold medal in the 100 metres hurdles in Edinburgh, ahead of Wendy Jeal and 1984 Olympic heptathlon champion Glynis Nunn.
She would remain the UK number one in the event over the next four seasons and reach the semi-finals at the 1987 World Championships and 1988 Olympics in the event. Gunnell first attempted the 400 m hurdles event with a 59.9 clocking. In 1988, in her first full season at the event, she would reach the Olympic final in Seoul. At the Olympic trials in Birmingham, she broke the UK record with 55.40. In Seoul she would improve this twice, first to 54.48 in the semis to 54.03, to finish fifth in the final. This would remain her best time in the event for three years. In 1989, Gunnell won the European Indoor title at 400 metres. Outdoors, she finished second in the 400 m hurdles at the European Cup behind East Germany's Petra Krug, but ahead of Olympic silver medallist Tatyana Ledovskaya. In September at the World Cup, she was third behind Sandra Farmer-Patrick of the USA and Ledovsakya, but this time ahead of Krug. In January 1990, she defeated 1988 Olympic champion Debbie Flintoff-King to win the Commonwealth title in Auckland.
The 1990 summer season however was disappointing, when she only finished sixth at the European Championships. Gunnell entered into the best phase of her career in 1991, improving her own three-year-old UK record three times. In Monte Carlo she ran 53.78, in Zurich she ran 53.63 at the World Championships in Tokyo, she won the silver medal behind Ledovskaya with 53.16, the third fastest time of all-time. Ledovskaya won with 53.11. Gunnell won the 400 m hurdles at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, running 53.23 to defeat Sandra Farmer-Patrick. She anchored the British 4 × 400 m quartet to a bronze medal. In 1993, she reached her peak, when she set the world record in the 400 hurdles to win gold in the World Championships in Stuttgart, winning in 52.74, narrowly ahead of Farmer-Patrick who ran 52.79 inside the old record. This record is still the British record. In 1994, Gunnell added the European title to her collection, winning comfortably in 53.33. She won the Goodwill Games ahead of Kim Batten defended her Commonwealth title and won the World Cup title in London.
1994 was her third year as the world's number one. She missed most of 1995 due to injury, an injury from which she would never recover, her defence of her Olympic title in Atlanta in 1996 was cut short when she pulled up injured in the semi-finals. This seemed a cruel blow, as this race occurred on her 30th birthday. In 1996, she worked as a Red Cross ambassador in Angola. In September 1997, she retired after a recurrence of an Achilles tendon injury forced her to pull out of the World Championships semi-final. Gunnell remains the only woman to have won the European, World and Olympic 400 metre hurdles titles. Gunnell is now involved as one of the ambassadors for McCain's Track & Field partnership with UK Athletics, she was one of the four celebrity guests in the ITV's You Bet! – Series 7, co-winning with Michaela Strachan, donating her winnings to a charity working to find a cure for breast cancer. In 1997, she was the recipient of the "big red book" on the This. In summer 2006, she was a celebrity showjumper in the BBC's Sport Relief event Only Fools on Horses.
She won a Weakest Link Sporting Heroes Special, first broadcast on Saturday 25 July 2009 on BBC One. She took part in a celebrity version of TV show Total Wipeout which aired on 2 January 2010. In 2012, Gunnell won £ 20,000 for her charity. In the 1993 New Year Honours, Gunnell was made an MBE and in the 1998 Queen's Birthday Honours, she was made an OBE. In 2011, Gunnell was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of West Sussex. In 2012 Sally was one of five Olympians chosen as part of a series body-casting artworks by Louise Giblin exhibited in London and copies being sold in aid of the charity Headfirst, she is married to fellow athlete Jonathan Bigg, has three sons. She lives in West Sussex, just outside Brighton. 7-times AAAs 100 m hurdles champion 2-time AAAs 400 m hurdles champion 2-time UK Champion - 100 m hurdles 400 m hurdles 2-time AAAs Indoor Champion - 200 m 400 m Notes: Represented Great Britain in all events excluding the Commonwealth Games, where she represented England and the 1989 World Cup, where she represented Europe.
DNS = did not start. DNF = did not finish Sally Gunnell Official Website Sally Gunnell on IMDb "Sally Gunnell OBE
400 metres hurdles at the Olympics
The 400 metres hurdles at the Summer Olympics is the longest hurdling event held at the multi-sport event. The men's 400 m hurdles has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since 1900, with a sole gap at the 1912 Summer Olympics; the women's event was added to the programme over eighty years at the 1984 Olympics. It is the most prestigious 400 m hurdles race at elite level; the Olympic records for the event are 46.78 seconds for men, set by Kevin Young in 1992, 52.64 seconds for women, set by Melaine Walker in 2008. Young's time remains the men's world record for the event; that record has been broken at the Olympics on seven occasions: 1908, 1920, 1932, 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1992. The women's world record has never been broken in Olympic competition. Edwin Moses is the most successful athlete in the event, having won one bronze medal. Glenn Davis, Angelo Taylor and Felix Sanchez have won two Olympic 400 m hurdles titles. Morgan Taylor is the only other athlete beside Moses. Deon Hemmings is the most successful woman, with her 1996 gold and 2000 silver medals, is the only female athlete to win multiple medals.
It is common for 400 m hurdles athletes to be part of their nation's team for the 4×400 metres relay at the Olympics. The United States is by far the most successful nation in the men's event with 18 gold medals and 40 medals overall—more than half the medals available. American men have swept the medals on five occasions; the American women have the highest medal total, with seven, but an American woman has never won the event. Russia and Jamaica are the only nations to win multiple women's gold medals, with two each. Great Britain is the only nation to have won a gold medal in both the men's and women's event, having three champions in total. Participation and athlete dataAthletics Men's 400 metres Hurdles Medalists. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-07. Athletics Women's 400 metres Hurdles Medalists. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-07. Olympic record progressionsMallon, Bill. TRACK & FIELD ATHLETICS - OLYMPIC RECORD PROGRESSIONS. Track and Field News. Retrieved on 2014-02-07. Specific IAAF 400 metres hurdles homepage Official Olympics website Olympic athletics records from Track & Field News
Sport of athletics
Athletics is a collection of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping and walking. The most common types of athletics competitions are track and field, road running, cross country running, walking race; the results of racing events are decided by finishing position, while the jumps and throws are won by the athlete that achieves the highest or furthest measurement from a series of attempts. The simplicity of the competitions, the lack of a need for expensive equipment, makes athletics one of the most competed sports in the world. Athletics is an individual sport, with the exception of relay races and competitions which combine athletes' performances for a team score, such as cross country. Organized athletics are traced back to the Ancient Olympic Games from 776 BC; the rules and format of the modern events in athletics were defined in Western Europe and North America in the 19th and early 20th century, were spread to other parts of the world. Most modern top level meetings are conducted by the International Association of Athletics Federations and its member federations.
The athletics meeting forms the backbone of the Summer Olympics. The foremost international athletics meeting is the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, which incorporates track and field, marathon running and race walking. Other top level competitions in athletics include the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Athletes with a physical disability compete at the Summer Paralympics and the World Para Athletics Championships; the word athletics is derived from the Ancient Greek ἀθλητής from ἆθλον or ἆθλος. The term was used to describe athletic contests in general – i.e. sporting competition based on human physical feats. In the 19th century, the term athletics acquired a more narrow definition in Europe and came to describe sports involving competitive running, walking and throwing; this definition continues to be the most prominent one in the United Kingdom and most of the areas of the former British Empire. Furthermore, foreign words in many Germanic and Romance languages which are related to the term athletics have a similar meaning.
In much of North America, athletics is synonymous with sports in general, maintaining a more historical usage of the term. The word "athletics" is used to refer to the sport of athletics in this region. Track and field is preferred, is used in the United States and Canada to refer to most athletics events, including racewalking and marathon running. Athletic contests in running, walking and throwing are among the oldest of all sports and their roots are prehistoric. Athletics events were depicted in the Ancient Egyptian tombs in Saqqara, with illustrations of running at the Heb Sed festival and high jumping appearing in tombs from as early as of 2250 BC; the Tailteann Games were an ancient Celtic festival in Ireland, founded circa 1800 BC, the thirty-day meeting included running and stone-throwing among its sporting events. The original and only event at the first Olympics in 776 BC was a stadium-length running event known as the stadion; this expanded to include throwing and jumping events within the ancient pentathlon.
Athletics competitions took place at other Panhellenic Games, which were founded around 500 BC. The Cotswold Olimpick Games, a sports festival which emerged in 17th century England, featured athletics in the form of sledgehammer throwing contests. Annually, from 1796 to 1798, L'Olympiade de la République was held in revolutionary France, is an early forerunner to the Modern Summer Olympic Games; the premier event of this competition was a running event, but various ancient Greek disciplines were on display. The 1796 Olympiade marked the introduction of the metric system into the sport. Athletics competitions were held about 1812 at the Royal Military College, in 1840 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire at the Royal Shrewsbury School Hunt; the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich held an organised competition in 1849, a regular series of closed meetings open only to undergraduates, was held by Exeter College, Oxford from 1850. The annual Wenlock Olympian Games, first held in 1850 in Wenlock, incorporated athletics events into its sports programme.
The first modern-style indoor athletics meetings were recorded shortly after in the 1860s, including a meet at Ashburnham Hall in London which featured four running events and a triple jump competition. The Amateur Athletic Association was established in England on 1880 as the first national body for the sport of athletics and began holding its own annual athletics competition – the AAA Championships; the United States began holding an annual national competition – the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships – first held in 1876 by the New York Athletic Club. Athletics became codified and standardized via the English AAA and other general sports organisations in the late 19th century, such as the Amateur Athletic Union and the Union des sociétés françaises de sports athlétiques. An athletics competition was included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and it has been as one of the foremost competitions at the quadrennial multi-sport event since. For men only, the 1928 Olympics saw the introduction of women's events in the athletics programme.
Athletics is part of the Paralympic Games since the inaugural Games in 1960. Athletics has a high-profile during major championships the Olympics, but otherwise is less popular. An internation
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta