Emmanuel Wanyonyi wins 800m race on his Diamond League debut in Rabat

Emmanuel Wanyonyi celebrating after clocking 1:43.76 record in 800m final during World Athletics U20 Championships at the Moi International Sports Complex. Aug 22, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

World under 20 800m champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi stretched his two-lap race dominance at the Meeting International Mohammed VI d’Athletisme de Rabat on Sunday evening.

Wanyonyi, 17, followed up his victory in Ostrava on Wednesday with another assured display that belied his age, maintaining himself within striking distance of the lead throughout and finishing strongest in 1:45.47.

Botswana’s fast-finishing 2012 Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos was second in 1:45.66 with France’s Gabriel Tual striving hugely for third place in 1:45.71.

Kenya’s Collins Kipruto dropped away to fourth over the final 50 metres, but his compatriots Emmanuel Korir and Olympic silver medallist Ferguson Rotich, the respective Olympic gold and silver medallists, had an even less happy time in warm but blustery conditions, finishing eighth and 10th respectively in 1:46.93 and 1:47.72.

Like the men’s steeplechase, the women’s 3000m produced sustained competition as 2013 world silver medallist Mercy Cherono and European indoor champion Amy-Eloise Markovc battled all the way down the finishing straight before the Kenyan edged home in 8:40.29, 0.03 clear.

Cherono had tracked the US-based Briton round the final bend before striking for home, but Markovc resolutely refused to let any light develop between them and was rewarded with a personal best of 8:40.32, with Ethiopian teenager Medina Eisa third in 8:41.42.

Three years after making his international debut at this meeting – where he finished fourth in 20.51 – Kenny Bednarek returned as the Olympic 200m silver medallist, and he gave a performance in keeping with that standing as he won in 20.21 from lane seven, comfortably clear of South Africa’s Luxolo Adams, who clocked 20.35.

The women’s 400m saw the Dominican Republic’s Olympic silver medallist and world leader Marileidy Paulino finish two metres clear in 50.10, with Sada Williams of Barbados second in 50.74 and Stephenie Ann McPherson of Jamaica third in 51.37.

It was a bad night for Kenyans in men’s 3,000m steeplechase –a race often billed as ‘Made in Kenya for Kenyans – as local hero Soufiane El Bakkali won in a world lead of 7:58.28.



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