By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2022 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
EUGENE, Oregon — In the men’s 800m semi-finals, Olympic champion Emmanuel Korir had to sprint hard the last 100 meters of the first heat to prevail over compatriot Wyclife Kinyamal and Australia’s Peter Bol at the World Athletics Championships 2022 here at Hayward Field in Oregon on Thursday (21). Korir clocked 1:45.38 to Kinyamal’s 1:45.49 and Bol’s 1:45.58 (Bol advanced on time).
Korir, the 2017 NCAA 800m champion for the University of Texas El Paso, like American Athing Mu did on the women’s side, took a step closer to potentially winning a gold medal in the men’s 800m like he did 11 months ago at the Olympics in Tokyo.
“I’m OK for the final,” said Korir, who is still without a kit sponsor for this season. “It’s going to be tough, I know, but I will do my best.” – Read more: Olympic gold 800m medalists Athing Mu advance in 800m at World Athletics Championships 2022
Meanwhile, athough he was happy to advance to the final, Kinyamal doesn’t think his target stops there.
“I am happy to qualify to the final and I will now look for a medal,” he said. “I ran my own race today. I was aiming to finish top two to be in the final. Everyone is well prepared and ready to run fast.”
Algeria’s Djamel Sedjati (1:45.44) and France’s Gabriel Tual (1:45.53) were the automatic qualifiers out of heat two. Eighteen-year-old Noah Kibet of Kenya, the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Championships silver medalist finished eighth, and last, and did not advance.
“I ran well tactically. I was mentally very strong. I am very happy with my race,” said Tual. “This semi-final reassures me towards the final. We’ll see what happens in the final.
“Anything can happen in the final. I want to forecast anything. I will try to go as far as possible. I will do my best not to have any regret.”
Slimane Moula of Algeria won the third and final heat by sprinting past Canada’s Marco Arop just before the line. His time of 1:44.89 was the fastest on the day. Arop, who finished second in 1:45.12, was unbothered by Moula’s last-minute surge and was expecting it.
“I think I just stayed patient early on, saw an opening, took it, and knew as long as I closed hard I would finish top two,” said Arop.
“I knew Moula has a great finish; I’ve seen him run like that all year. I think part of me was sort of expecting him at the end, but as long as it’s just him I’m OK.”
MEN’S 800M SEMI-FINALS RESULTS – WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2022
|1||KEN||Emmanuel Kipkurui KORIR||1:45.38 SB||Q|
|2||KEN||Wyclife Kinyamal KISASY||1:45.49||Q|
|5||MEX||Jesus Tonatiu LOPEZ||1:46.17|
|6||NED||Tony VAN DIEPEN||1:46.70|
|7||ESP||Álvaro DE ARRIBA||1:46.30|
|8||MAR||Abdelati EL GUESSE||1:46.46|
PHOTO: Emmanuel Korir of Kenya wins his semi-final heat in the 800m at the 2022 World Athletics Championships (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)