Hungry Wanyonyi ready to strike in Budapest but will Emmanuel Korir blow hot or cold in 800m?


Hungry Wanyonyi ready to strike in Budapest but will Emmanuel Korir blow hot or cold in 800m?

Festus Chuma 16:00 - 22.08.2023

The 28-year-old seeks victory in a competitive field, aiming to maintain Kenya's dominance while facing strong contenders from around the world.

The world will be treated to a spectacular showdown on the track as the defending champion and Olympic gold medalist, Emmanuel Korir, kicks off his campaign to retain the men's 800m crown at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

With a field packed with seasoned athletes, rising stars, and world record holders, the heats on Tuesday night promise a thrilling battle for supremacy in the men's 800m.

Korir journey to the championship has been riddled with challenges, including injuries that cast shadows of doubt on his performance.

Having secured a direct entry to the event as the defending champion, Korir remains undeterred, expressing his resolve.

"Everything has been fine at the camp, from training, to the weather and food, and what remains if for us to go out there and shine. The priority in the first round will be to reach the semi-finals, and to take it forward from there," Korir as per Nation.

But Korir is not the lone contender from Kenya. Emmanuel Wanyonyi, displaying remarkable form with a lifetime best of 1:43.27, has emerged as a powerful contender for the championship.

The 2021 world U20 champion aims to continue Kenya legacy in the event, following in the footsteps of illustrious names like Billy Konchellah, Paul Ruto, Alfred Kirwa Yego, Rudisha, and Korir himself. Supported by teammates Alex Ngeno Kipngetich and Ferguson Rotich, the stage is set for Kenya to shine on the international stage.

However, the competition is fierce, with athletes from around the globe determined to etch their names in history.

Canada Arop emerges as a strong contender, armed with the third-fastest time of the season at 1:43.30.

The North African duo of Algerian athletes, Slimane Moula and Sedjati, are primed to upset the established order with their personal bests of 1:43.38 and 1:43.40 respectively, setting the stage for a thrilling showdown.

From across the Atlantic, the United States fields a mix of seasoned campaigners and rising stars. Clayton Murphy, a bronze medalist from the 2016 Olympics, leads the charge alongside Bryce Hoppel, the reigning US champion.

The European contingent, led by France Benjamin Robert and Yanis Meziane, seeks to disrupt the status quo.

Robert personal best of 1:43.48 places him firmly in contention, while Meziane aims to capitalize on his own progress, eager to surpass his PB of 1:44.30. The pair draws inspiration from compatriot Pierre Ambroise-Bosse, who clinched gold in 2017.

Great Britain showcases its prowess with a formidable trio, featuring Max Burgin, Daniel Rowden, and Ben Pattison.

Burgin, fresh off a victory at the London Diamond League, adds to the fervor with his impressive 1:43.85 performance.

Rowden lifetime best of 1:43.95 in Monaco speaks volumes about his form, while Pattison Commonwealth Games bronze medal underscores his capability to shine on the international stage.

Australia Joseph Deng adds an Oceanian flavor to the competition, with his lightning-fast time of 1:43.99. His record-breaking achievement from France further elevates the global appeal of the race, illustrating the truly international nature of the sport.