The story had a Hollywood quality. A Moroccan distance runner immigrates to America, toils as a waiter and a busboy, gains U.S. citizenship and wins Olympic gold for his adopted nation. Unfortunately, Khalid Khannouchi (below), the world's premier marathoner, spoiled the scenario by choosing to run in the London Marathon in April 2000 for a hefty appearance fee instead of entering the U.S. Olympic Trials. Thus Khannouchi eliminated the possibility of his representing the U.S. in Sydney. This week, however, the world-record holder (2:05.42) will compete in his first international event as a member of Team USA at the world championships in Edmonton. To keep tabs on Khannouchi and the 3,000 other competitors, the Web is your best option.
The command center is iaaf.org, home site of the International Amateur Athletic Federation, which, beginning on Saturday and continuing throughout the 10-day competition, will have real-time results updated seconds after the completion of every heat, along with summaries updated every 20 minutes and transcripts of interviews. For full recaps, trackwire.com, a grassroots website run by a group of devoted volunteers, will have two reporters and two photographers on hand. Pre-event background can be gleaned at trackandfieldnews.com, official website of Track and Field News magazine (the self-proclaimed "bible of the sport since 1948"). This site posts comprehensive records, listing the best times this year and historically in every event. Finally, if you're interested in how U.S. athletes got to Edmonton, check out the rich collection of bios available at usatf.org. For those who don't want to wait for the movie, Khannouchi's story is among them.