July 20, 2024

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Kenyan teenager becomes third-fastest man ever in 800m

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Teenager, Emmanuel Wanyonyi, ran the fastest 800 metres since 2012 at the Kenyan Athletics Olympics Trials in Nairobi on Saturday, to qualify for the Paris games.

Despite almost failing to qualify for the finals after he tripped and fell during Friday’s semi-finals, he clocked a time of 1:41.70 on Saturday, making him the third-fastest man ever in the event.

“If I didn’t fall yesterday I would not have run like this today, so everything happens for a reason,” the 19-year-old said.

Only Kenya’s two-time Olympic champion, David Rudisha, and Denmark’s Wilson Kipketer have run faster times.

Rudisha holds the world record of 1:40.91 and has also run the second- and third-fastest times, followed by Kipketer with the fourth-fastest time of 1:41.11.

Also qualifying for the Kenyan team on Saturday was sprinter, Ferdinand Omanyala.

He set the world-leading time of 9.79 seconds in the men’s 100 metres, appearing to have regained the form that saw him setting the African record of 9.77 during the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi in 2021.

“I feel great but I just feel like we can go faster. Today was just a confirmation of what is coming because this part of the season we did not do much,” the 28-year-old said.

It was also a win for middle- and long-distance runner Faith Kipyegon.

The double Olympic champion said she is looking forward to a good summer in Paris where she will chase two medals, after winning both the 1500m and 5,000 metre races at the trials.

Kipyegon won the 1,500 metre with a time of 3.53.99, short of her world record time of 3:49.11.

“I wanted to execute as fast as possible and see what was possible at the finish line. Because people think that you can’t run fast at high altitudes, but I wanted to see if I can run fast or if the weather is going to affect me in any way,” she said after the race.

Kipyegon said she hopes she can maintain her current form heading to the Olympics.

Women’s 800m world champion Mary Moraa qualified for Paris in second place, with her sister Sarah Moraa in third.

The athletics competition at the Olympics taking place at the Stade de France in Paris from 1-11 August.

By Rédaction Africanews 

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