men's 800m semi-finals at the World Athletics Championships 2023

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


BUDAPEST (24-Aug) — There were no middle or long distance finals on the schedule tonight at the World Athletics Championships 2023 here at National Athletics Center, but key athletes from the men’s 800m advanced to final on Day 6.

Emmanuel Wanyonyi leads the way with 1:43.83

There were some fast time posted in the semifinals of the men’s 800m event.  Eighteen men broke 1:45, and the fastest was Kenya’s Emmanuel Wanyonyi who won the third and final heat in 1:43.83.

Read more: Day 6: Medal table standings: World Athletics Championships 2023

Wanyonyi, 19, who was fourth at the World Athletics Championships one year ago in Eugene, followed the quick, early pace set by Britain’s Max Burgin who split halfway in 49.53.  The Kenyan took over the lead at 600m, and took it home for the win.

“It was not an easy race, but I cannot complain about anything,” Wanyonyi told the flash quotes team here.  “I wanted to qualify for the final, and there I might surprise the world.”

There was a pitched battle for second.  American Bryce Hoppel was in second position coming down the homestretch, but in the final 50 meters the reigning USA champion started to tie up. 

He was passed by Spain’s Adrian Ben about 10 meters from the finish, and the Spaniard ran a personal best 1:43.92 to clinch the second automatic qualifier spot.  Hoppel ran 1:44.04 for third, fast enough to grab the first of only two time qualifiers.

“It was very scary,” Hoppel told Race Results Weekly, still catching his breath.  “I saw Wanyonyi right there in front of me. 

“Someone at the end started sneaking up on my left, so I didn’t really have the reaction time to really get it going, but I know there’s definitely more there.  I’m excited to use it in the final.”

Both Algerians, Slimane Moula and Djamel Sedjati, advanced to Saturday’s final.  Sedjati, last summer’s surprise silver medalist at the World Championships in Eugene, finished second in heat two in 1:44.49 behind Canadian Marco Arop (1:44.02) who led gun to tape.  Moula won the first heat in 1:43.93.

Where there any surprises in the men’s 800m semifinals?

The surprise of the night was Tshepiso Masalela of Botswana.  The 24 year-old, who won the silver medal at the 2022 African Championships, showed a super final sprint in the first heat, moving up to second behind Moula in the final 20 meters and running a personal best 1:44.14. 

His best time a year ago was only 1:46.40.

“It is a new level for me,” Masalela said.  “This year I have been running so many PB’s.  Tonight was even faster.”

Britain’s Ben Pattison was the eighth and final qualifier.  He finished third in heat one in 1:44.23 and waited in the “Q Room” next to the track until he was told after the third heat that he had advanced. 

For Pattison, 21, who finished sixth at last summer’s European Athletics Championships, Saturday’s race will be his first final at a global championships.

800 Metres Men – Semi-Final:

Heat 1

  1. Slimane Moula (ALG) – 1:43.93 Q (PB)
  2. Tshepiso Masalela (BOT) – 1:44.14 Q
  3. Ben Pattison (GBR) – 1:44.23 q (PB)
  4. Mateusz Borkowski (POL) – 1:44.30 (PB)
  5. Mohamed Attaoui (ESP) – 1:44.35
  6. Benjamin Robert (FRA) – 1:44.38
  7. Abdelati El Guesse (MAR) – 1:44.55
  8. Joseph Deng (AUS) – 1:48.12

Heat 2

  1. Marco Arop (CAN) – 1:44.02 Q
  2. Djamel Sedjati (ALG) – 1:44.49 Q
  3. Saúl Ordóñez (ESP) – 1:44.74 (PB)
  4. Catalin Tecuceanu (ITA) – 1:44.79
  5. Gabriel Tual (FRA) – 1:44.83 (PB)
  6. Filip Ostrowski (POL) – 1:45.30
  7. Daniel Rowden (GBR) – 1:45.38
  8. Alex Ngeno Kipngetich (KEN) – 1:45.56

Heat 3

  1. Emmanuel Wanyonyi (KEN) – 1:43.83 Q (PB)
  2. Adrián Ben (ESP) – 1:43.92 Q
  3. Bryce Hoppel (USA) – 1:44.04 q (PB)
  4. Yanis Meziane (FRA) – 1:44.30 (PB)
  5. Simone Barontini (ITA) – 1:44.34 (SB)
  6. Andreas Kramer (SWE) – 1:44.57 (SB)
  7. Mark English (IRL) – 1:45.14
  8. Max Burgin (GBR) – 1:47.60

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