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November 20, 2018

The next Rudisha?: US-based Kenyan runs personal best and the fastest time this year

Kenya’s Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir in action as he wins the Men’s 800m   during London Anniversary Games , London, Britain - July 22, 2018  Reuters
Kenya’s Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir in action as he wins the Men’s 800m during London Anniversary Games , London, Britain - July 22, 2018 Reuters

Emmanuel Korir ran the fastest 800m since 2012, clocking 1:42.05, to light up the second day of the Anniversary Games in London—the 11th meeting on the IAAF Diamond League on Sunday.

The 23-year-old Kenyan takes the accolade from Nijel Amos, who illuminated Friday night’s Monaco meeting by winning in 1:42.14 but was helpless as Korir produced a powerful front-running and head-turning performance.

He took up a spot behind pacer Bram Som, who took them through the first lap in 49.87. Though Wycliffe Kinyamal was probing in his wake, Korir, who won the Kenyan 400m title in 44.21 last month, clung to the rail to repel the challenge. He then pulled away through the final 200 metres to lower the world lead and smash the meeting record.

The performance ranks him sixth on the all-time lists, a feat not even Korir expected so soon.

“I am happy because that is a huge performance from me,” he said. “ I set my personal best last year and I wanted to break that maybe next year, but I managed it earlier than planned. It’s important to beat those guys because they’re all really strong.”

Kinyamal was overtaken on the final bend by American Clayton Murphy, just holding on to claim second in 1:43.12. Kinyamal was awarded the same time, a PB, to finish third to stay atop of the Diamond League standings. Amos was fourth in 1:43.29—impressive given his exploits less than 48 hours earlier.

World and Commonwealth Games 5,000 metres champion Helen Obiri finished third in the mile clocking 4:16,14 . The race was won by Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands in 4:12.761 with Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia second in 4:16.14. Winny Chebet finished seventh in 4:20.71. Justus Soget finished third in the 1,500m where he registered 3:35.56. Vincent Kibet was placed ninth in 3:36.12. USA’s Matthew Centrowitz registered 3:35.22 to win the race with Ryan Gregson of Australia second in 3:35.35

Lilian Kasait showed her brilliance by winning the women’s 3,000 meters in 8:41.51 with Netherlands Susan Krumins coming home second in 8:41.82. Katie Mackay was third in 8:44.47. Eva Cherono was placed seventh in 8:48.14 with Sheila Chelangat 13th in 8:55.19.

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