A Moroccan athlete being listed as the pre-competition favourites is a huge surprise in an event like the Steeplechase, but Soufiane El Bakkali is as good, if not better than, the current crop of Kenyan runners, the nation which usually dominates this event.
El Bakkali has the most pedigree among the favourites. After taking an unlucky fourth spot at the Rio Olympics, he has medalled in all five major meets since, including a silver and a bronze in the 2017 and 2019 World Championships. He was the former world number one but he has since fallen to second, however he remains the outright favourite.
He recorded a world-leading time in a Diamond League meeting in Rome at the start of June, helping to consolidate his tag as favourite at odds of 13/8 to take gold.