Kenya: Olympic trials – Rotich relies on experience in the 800m event

World 800m bronze medalist Ferguson Rotich will be on hand to show young people how the 800m race unfolds at the Tokyo Olympic trials starting Thursday at the Moi International Sports Center.

However, it won’t be easy without any favorites in the two-lap race that starts with the semi-finals on Thursday at 12:50 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively before the final on Saturday.

Rotich faces newcomer on the block Elias Ngeny, who has the second fastest time this season in the world (1: 43.84), 800m Commonwealth champion Wycliffe Kinyamal, who beat him in Doha on May 28. and in the US- based Emmanuel Korir and Michael Saruni.

A stunned Rotich ran in 1: 44.45 to finish second behind Kinyamal, who clocked the third fastest time of the season at 1: 43.91.

Also to watch are Collins Kipruto, who won the Marseille competition in 1: 43.95, a fourth placed time this season, and Cornelius Tuwei, who won in 1: 44.42 at Paavo Nurmi in Finland.

“I want to handle the race with precision and show my rivals how it’s done … I’m almost 100 percent ready with whatever falls into place,” said Rotich, 31, who won the silver in 2x2x400m in 2021. World relays on May 1 in Poland.

“It will be an uphill battle, but experience will count. I plan to fight to the end,” Rotich said, noting he was dehydrated and tired when he attended the Diamond League event. of Doha.

Korir said he is not worried about the times set by his rivals, saying times do not matter during such events.

“You can never predict anything in races that don’t have leaders,” Korir said. “It will mainly depend on how you wake up on race day.”

Korir, who doubled in the 400m and 800m at the 2019 Doha World Championships, said he would try his luck again at the Tokyo Olympics. “All I will need is a good rest after learning the good lessons from Doha,” Korir said.

Korir reached the 400m final to finish sixth, but lost shockingly in the semi-final of his 800m specialty, just as he did at the 2017 World Championships in London, where he was clearly the favorite. to win gold.

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