Men’s 800 Heats: Emmanuel Korir, Clayton Murphy and Peter Bol Are Eliminated

BUDAPEST, Hungary – The men’s 800m first round at the 2023 World Athletics Championships got underway at the National Athletics Stadium, and it was not the smoothest first round. While many of the favorites looked good, there were some notable casualties as well. Defending Olympic and world champion Emmanuel Korir was eliminated as he placed 4th in heat 5 in 1:46.78. Korir has struggled all season, but in the past he has struggled in the regular season and showed up in the big events. This year, he didn’t. Another notable casualty was Peter Bol of Australia, who placed 4th at the 2021 Olympics. He was 5th in heat 6 in 1:46.75. Finally, Ferguson Rotich of Kenya, who is the reigning Olympic silver medalist, looked terrible in the heats and was never in it. He placed 6th in heat 4 in 1:46.53. 

Getty Images for World Athletics

Out of the 3 Americans, only 1, Bryce Hoppel, was able to qualify for the next round. Hoppel looked smooth for the first part of the race and was able to hold on for 2nd in heat 4 in 1:45.56. The other Americans, Clayton Murphy and Isaiah Harris, were eliminated. Murphy looked absolutely amazing and was in the front of his heat for 700 meters before fading to 6th in heat 7 in 1:47.06. Harris was kicking down for the 3rd spot in heat 3, but ended up placing 4th, missing out on a Q by 0.03 seconds. 

While Team USA could only send 1, Team GB, Spain, and France all sent their entire team to the semi-finals. Team GB consists of Daniel Rowden, Max Burgin, and Ben Pattison, the Spanish team consists of Saul Ordonez, Adrian Ben, and Mohamed Attaoui, and the French team is Benjamin Robert, Gabriel Tual, and Yanis Meziane. Robert looked great in the first round, winning heat 5 in 1:46.45, and Tual had the third fastest qualifying time of the day (1:45.10).

Kenyan teenager and the fastest entrant in the field, Emmanuel Wanyonyi, looked great in his heat as he won heat 1 in the fastest qualifying time of the day (1:44.92). The only other Kenyan to move on, Alex Kipngetich, looked full of run in heat 3, winning in 1:47.63.

Also impressing was Canadian Marco Arop of Canada, who was the bronze medalist last year. He looked fantastic and easily won the final heat of the day in the second fastest qualifying time of the day (1:45.05), and even had time to give a low five to the second placer before crossing the finish line. Two other medal favorites, the Algeria duo of Djamel Sedjati and Slimane Moula, both qualified for the next round but had to work for their Q’s in the final 100m of their respective races. 

Clayton Murphy ran a great race through 700 meters and had no excuses after this one

Through 700 meters of heat 5, the LetsRun staff agreed: this was vintage Clayton Murphy, the same guy who medalled at the 2016 Olympics and dominated the 2021 Olympic Trials. Murphy believed so too – even though he was only 3rd at USAs and last in the Monaco Diamond League, he felt his training had been going fantastic since then.

But after controlling most of the race from the front, Murphy began tying up as he entered the home straight and once the field began passing him, he could not respond. He wound up 6th in 1:47.06.

I did everything right, I just got beat,” Murphy said. “I came here to medal. I literally said I had the best three weeks I’ve ever had to any championship, USAs or Worlds. I did everything right, I just got beat. That’s it.”

Emmanuel Wanyonyi says he was sick when he finished 8th in his only loss of the year in Monaco

The 19-year-old Wanyonyi, who was 4th at Worlds last year, has been even better in 2023, running two of the four fastest times in the world this year and winning four of his five races before Worlds. His only defeat came in his last race before Worlds, Monaco on July 21, but Wanyonyi revealed today that he was sick in Monaco and was feeling much better tonight. 

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Wanyonyi was clearly happy to be back at Worlds as he celebrated winning his heat by putting up his finger in a number one gesture just before crossing the finish line.

Max Burgin’s 2023 season has not gone to plan, but he’s a Worlds semifinalist in his first appearance

Burgin has been a mega-talent for a while, running 1:45 as a 17-year-old in 2019 among other notable age-group accomplishments. But in the last five seasons, Burgin has never run more than four 800m races due to injury.

2023 has not exactly been smooth either, as Burgin did not race until the British championships on July 8 as he dealt with an Achilles issue. Burgin said he has not been able to train as much as he wanted since then, but he has already made it farther than any of the previous three seasons. Not only is Burgin at Worlds – his first senior global championships – but he’s into the semifinal. That race on Thursday will be his 5th 800 of the year, his most since 2018.

“I wasn’t finishing many sessions [earlier this year], just the Achilles inflammation, pain I was getting bothered me too much,” Burgin said. “It was only after I had injections in it that I was able to start properly finishing sessions and even then, currently I’ve had to stop a lot of my auxiliary running. Three track sessions a week, that’s all I’m doing running-wise. The rest is cross-training.”

Bryce Hoppel was disappointed that he’ll be the only American in the semifinals

Hoppel ran 1:43.95 in Monaco on July 21, his first sub-1:44, and while he was happy to run fast, he had mixed feelings as he was only 6th and felt he could have done even better. 

“It didn’t feel all that hard,” Hoppel said of the race. “It’s definitely exciting to see that we’re all kind of in the same wheelhouse and I think anything can happen in the final.”

Hoppel earned a measure of US redemption by advancing to the semifinals after all four Americans went home in the first round at their home World Championships last year. But Hoppel was hoping he’d have two teammates there with him, and instead he has none.

Marco Arop is proud to the Canadian captain and was thrilled to see Italy’s Simone Barontini, whom he met a few days ago, finish right behind him

Arop looked amazing but afterwards only spoke to the media briefly but we got him to talk about his mid-race low five.

Isaiah Harris was disappointed not to make it as he feels he belongs in the final

He also said off-camera it felt like his first Worlds as his last appearance here was in 2017.

Results by heat

Men’s 800m

Round 1 1

1. Emmanuel WANYONYI 01 AUG 2004 KEN 1:44.92
2. Gabriel TUAL 09 APR 1998 FRA 1:45.10
3. Catalin TECUCEANU 09 SEP 1999 ITA 1:45.31
4. Tshepiso MASALELA 25 MAY 1999 BOT 1:45.60
5. Ryan SÁNCHEZ 22 JUN 1998 PUR 1:48.24
6. Mohamed Ali GOUANED 05 JUL 2002 ALG 1:49.16
7. Krishan KUMAR 12 OCT 1997 IND 1:50.36
8. Hein Htet AUNG 25 MAR 2006 MYA 1:53.63
9. Manuel Belo Amaral ATAIDE 09 MAR 2001 TLS 1:58.32

Round 1 2

1. Mateusz BORKOWSKI 02 APR 1997 POL 1:45.40
2. Max BURGIN 20 MAY 2002 GBR 1:45.43
3. Joseph DENG 07 JUL 1998 AUS 1:45.48
4. Mark ENGLISH 18 MAR 1993 IRL 1:45.71
5. Brad MATHAS 24 JUN 1993 NZL 1:45.95
6. Dániel HULLER 10 MAY 2001 HUN 1:47.41
7. Tom DRADRIGA 17 JUN 1996 UGA 1:48.60
Navasky ANDERSON 21 JAN 2000 JAM DQ

Round 1 3

1. Alex Ngeno KIPNGETICH 17 AUG 2000 KEN 1:47.63
2. Djamel SEDJATI 03 MAY 1999 ALG 1:47.87
3. Saúl ORDÓÑEZ 10 APR 1994 ESP 1:47.97
4. Isaiah HARRIS 18 OCT 1996 USA 1:48.00
5. John FITZSIMONS 05 MAY 1998 IRL 1:48.20
6. Ebrahim ALZOFAIRI 08 MAY 1989 KUW 1:48.41
7. John RIVERA 02 DEC 1998 PUR 1:48.83
8. Amel TUKA 09 JAN 1991 BIH 1:49.01
9. Allan Ngitsi CHIRWA 28 AUG 1995 MAW 1:51.62

Round 1 4

1. Adrián BEN 04 AUG 1998 ESP 1:45.37
2. Bryce HOPPEL 05 SEP 1997 USA 1:45.56
3. Daniel ROWDEN 09 SEP 1997 GBR 1:45.67
4. Filip OSTROWSKI 12 JUL 2001 POL 1:45.76
5. Abdullahi HASSAN 28 JUL 2002 CAN 1:46.33
6. Ferguson Cheruiyot ROTICH 30 NOV 1989 KEN 1:46.53
7. Marino BLOUDEK 18 JUL 1999 CRO 1:46.63
8. Ole Jakob SOLBU 19 AUG 2003 NOR 1:51.66

Round 1 5

1. Benjamin ROBERT 04 JAN 1998 FRA 1:46.45
2. Ben PATTISON 15 DEC 2001 GBR 1:46.57
3. Mohamed ATTAOUI 26 SEP 2001 ESP 1:46.65
4. Emmanuel Kipkurui KORIR 15 JUN 1995 KEN 1:46.78
5. Abdessalem AYOUNI 16 MAY 1994 TUN 1:46.85
6. Clayton MURPHY 26 FEB 1995 USA 1:47.06
7. Abedin MUJEZINOVIĆ 02 JUN 1993 BIH 1:47.76
8. Riley MCGOWN 11 MAY 1996 AUS 1:48.38
9. Faustino PRIETO ALFARO 13 FEB 1991 GEQ 2:04.20

Round 1 6

1. Abdelati EL GUESSE 27 FEB 1993 MAR 1:45.24
2. Andreas KRAMER 13 APR 1997 SWE 1:45.42
3. Slimane MOULA 25 FEB 1999 ALG 1:45.76
4. Francesco PERNICI 18 FEB 2003 ITA 1:45.89
5. Peter BOL 22 FEB 1994 AUS 1:46.75
6. James PRESTON 08 MAY 1997 NZL 1:46.84
7. Handal ROBAN 05 SEP 2002 VIN 1:46.86
8. Alex BEDDOES 09 JUL 1995 COK 1:48.31
9. Justice DREISCHOR 20 JAN 1998 ARU 1:59.56

Round 1 7

1. Marco AROP 20 SEP 1998 CAN 1:45.05
2. Simone BARONTINI 05 JAN 1999 ITA 1:45.21
3. Yanis MEZIANE 26 JAN 2002 FRA 1:45.30
4. Joonas RINNE 20 MAY 1995 FIN 1:45.93
5. Balázs VINDICS 28 MAR 1994 HUN 1:47.18
6. Eduardo RIBEIRO 09 JAN 2001 BRA 1:47.75
7. Oussama NABIL 18 FEB 1996 MAR 1:47.79
8. Abdullah Mohammed AL YAARI 05 JUL 2003 YEM 1:47.98
9. Mohammed DWEDAR 09 JAN 2001 PLE 1:55.45

*Full Day 4 Results



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