Injury-plagued Emmanuel Korir banking on past form ahead of World Championships

ATHLETICS Injury-plagued Emmanuel Korir banking on past form ahead of World Championships

Joel Omotto 08:45 - 31.07.2023

The world 800m champion has described what he feels about the competition facing him in Budapest next month

World and Olympic 800m champion Emmanuel Korir does not believe that there is any runner who can beat him at next month’s World Championships despite his poor form and absence from a number of events through injury.

Korir has been nursing a calf injury which he has admitted has made matters tough for him, especially in the last three months, while he has not had a good outing on the track in 2023.

The injury restricted him from featuring at the Athletics Kenya National Trials early this month while he 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.

However, even in those meetings, no runner has equaled or beat his time of 1:43.71 set in Eugene, Oregon last year as he won the world title.

Emmanuel Wanyonyi posted the best so far from the Budapest-bound contingent when he clocked 1:43.27 to win the Paris Diamond League, and this is giving Korir confidence that he can beat them all despite his rough patch.

“I trust myself because I have been doing my training, I am still the same Emmanuel and I do feel well considering I am the fastest now in the field in both 400m and 800m so there is no reason I should doubt myself,” Korir told Pulse Sports.

Wanyonyi, who will team up with Korir, Olympic silver medallist Ferguson Rotich and national champion Alex Ng’eno at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary next month, appears to be the form athlete so far as he has won two Diamond League races, adding the Paris win to one he managed in Rabat when he clocked 1:44.36.

Algerian Djamel Sedjati, who Korir beat to gold in Eugene, forcing him to settle for silver, won in Stockholm this month in a time of 1:44.59 after managing third place at the season-opening meeting in Doha won by his compatriot Slimane Moula (1:46.06).

Canadian Marco Arop, who finished third in Eugene, is yet to win a Diamond League race this season after second place in Paris (1:43.30) and third in Monaco (1:43.51) but he was within the 1:43 territory while Kenya’s Wycliffe Kinyamal, who won in Monaco in an impressive 1:43.22, missed out on the World Championships.

In Budapest, Korir feels time will not matter as long as he wins gold and retains his title.

“Records are not that easy, you need to be really ready for it. You cannot just say you will do it at the World Championships, yes it can happen but for now, I am not for it,” he added.

“In Budapest, we are not looking for any time, we are looking for the position. Whether we run 2:00 or 1:50, anything that will put us in the medal bracket we will appreciate.”