Marco Arop of Canada competes in the men's 800m at the 2023 World Athletics Championships

By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2023 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

BUDAPEST (26-Aug) — With a fluid running style reminiscent of double Olympic gold medalist David Rudisha, Canada’s Marco Arop won his country’s first-ever World Athletics Championships 800m title tonight, going away from the rest of the field.

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The former Mississippi State star in the NCAA system ran a beautifully executed race, moving from last at the bell to first at 600 meters by passing the field on the outside down the backstretch, then rolling to victory in 1:44.24, well clear of second place Emmanuel Wanyonyi of Kenya (1:44.53). 

He became only the second Canadian man to win an 800m medal at a world championships; Gary Reed was a silver medalist in Osaka in 2007.

“I had to be ready for any scenario tonight,” Arop told a small group of reporters.  He continued: “As soon as the gun went off it was playing out right in front of me. 

“Being patient early on was the key, and when I made that move I just wanted to keep it going and finish strong.  I came in with confidence, and that was a huge thing.”

Marco Arop of Canada celebrates after winning the 800m at the 2023 World Athletics Championships
Marco Arop of Canada celebrates after winning the 800m at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

Wanyonyi had full control of second place in the final meters, but behind him, Great Britain’s Ben Pattison was battling to hold off Adrian Ben of Spain and Djamel Sedjati and Slimane Moula of Algeria. 

Pattison, who is only 21 and competing in his first global championships, gritted his teeth and held on for third in 1:44.83. 

Pattison said that the encouragement he received from friends, family, coaches and other athletes on the British team helped instill in him a belief that he could get on the podium.

“The last person I saw when I left the hotel today was Josh Kerr,” Pattison told reporters.  

“Before I even had a chance to say ‘well done’ to him, he was saying ‘well done’ to me and saying ‘good luck.’  That was the 1500m world champion. It blows my mind that I’m surrounded by these people.”

American Bryce Hoppel was the eighth and last athlete to cross the finish line, but was given seventh place when Sedjati was later disqualified. 

Hoppel, the reigning USA champion who finished fourth at the World Athletics Championships in 2019, did not speak with the media.

For more results, please visit the World Athletics live results page

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