He does not seem like a runner who will burn out. "He has a really sophisticated support system," says TV commentator and former miler Craig Masback, who once competed against both Abderrahmane Morceli and Brahmia. "He has two guys around him who never realized their own potential. Arab athletes weren't accepted in a lot of European meets, never mind in America. They had to do all sorts of things, such as run for no money, just to get into races. Now things have changed, and they arc managing him intelligently."
After Friday night's triumph, even the modest Morceli was moved to repeat a comment that Aouita once made: "Aouita said, 'I was the athlete of the '80s. Morceli will be the athlete of the '90s.' "
Or as O'Sullivan puts it, "At 20, he's got to have it in his mind that he's going to do something outrageous."