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Olympics: All three Kenyans in men’s 800m are through to the semi-finals

ATHLETICS By Odero Charles | July 31st 2021

The Kenyan trio of Ferguson Rotich, Michael Saruni and Emmanuel Korir on Saturday morning eased into the men's 800 metres semi-finals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Kenya's Ferguson Rotich comfortably made it through to the semis, winning with a time of 1:43.75.

The 2019 world bronze medallist, trailed after the bell, but a push in the last lap helped him to overtake the leading pack to win.

Another Kenyan, Emmanuel Korir, who boasted this year's second-fastest run, just edged it to win his heat and advance to the next round.

First, in the men’s 800 meters, Korir won heat 6 of the first round of competition in 1:45.33, a hundredth of a second better than Poland’s Mateusz Borkowski.

The United States’ Bryce Hoppel finished third in the heat to qualify for the semifinals as well.

Kenya's Saruni also used a strong final push down the stretch to manage a second place finish in heat 4 of the first round of the 800m, putting together a time of 1:45.21, just behind first place finisher, Nijel Amos of Botswana (Amos has the fastest time in 2021).

Saruni’s finish to his heat means he’s also headed to the semifinals of the 800m in his first Olympics.

He automatically qualifies for the semifinals on Sunday.

A new winner is set to emerge in Tokyo for the first time since 2012, after double Olympic gold medallist Kenyan David Rudisha's persistent injuries denied him the chance to defend his title, kicking the race wide open.

Kenya's David Lekuta Rudisha (C) leads the field in the Men's 800m Round 1 heat during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 12, 2016. /AFP PHOTO

The men's 800m final will take place on Wednesday.

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