Cause for alarm? Emmanuel Korir explains how injury has affected his World Championships preparations

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ATHLETICS Cause for alarm? Emmanuel Korir explains how injury has affected his World Championships preparations

Joel Omotto 16:33 - 29.07.2023

The reigning world 800m champion shared details of his nightmare season ahead of his title defence in Budapest next month.

World and Olympic 800m champion Emmanuel Korir is hoping that he will be injury-free to defend his title at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary next month after what has been a nightmare season.

The 28-year-old has been restricted from competition by a niggly injury which has seen him post disappointing results in the few events he has featured in so far.

Given he is one of Kenya’s hope for gold in Budapest, there has been a worry among some pundits and fans that the country might miss out on the medal if he is not fully fit for the August 19-27 event.

While he is staying confident that he will shake off the problem and win a medal, Korir admits it has not been easy as he has been forced to miss a lot in a championship season.

“It’s been tough lately but I still have hopes. I am determined and I feel like this time again I will come back with something,” Korir told Pulse Sports.

“I have had an injury, it has been bothering me for like three months now but I do feel better. If you have something bothering you, you cannot train well and you miss a lot of stuff but I am good.

“I feel I have 90-something percent of what I am used to and I am promising we are not going to let it go. I know Kenyans believe a lot in us and I believe in myself. It is good because it is making us work hard,” added Korir on his plans for the World Championships.

However, while he remains hopeful, Kenyans might have to lower their expectations as Korir has admitted to having been unable to push himself to the limits in training and competitions.

The situation has made it difficult for him to gauge his true potential before heading to Budapest but he is keeping hope alive that he will win a medal of any kind if gold proves difficult.

“In the few Diamond Leagues that I went to, I have been listening to my body, never wanted to push. I am in good shape but I had to think about my injuries. Should I go for the time or the position, I was avoiding wasting my effort but I am okay,” said Korir.

“For now, you don’t have to doubt because I will be coming back with something. If I knew it was not possible and the injury was something serious, I would have quit.”

Korir opened his season with an eighth-place finish at the Diamond League Meeting in Rabat, Morocco before finishing 10th in Paris, France. His most recent outing was in Oslo, Norway where he finished eighth.

As the defending champion and 2022 Diamond League Trophy winner, Korir has two wild cards to the Worlds, meaning Kenya will have four representatives in the two-lap race that include him, World Under-20 800m champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi, Olympic silver medallist Ferguson Rotich and national champion Alex Ng’eno.