The top 10 athletes of 2021 so far

Emmanuel Korir wins Olympic gold

Whereas previous Olympic finals had been won by someone taking the lead early on, as demonstrated by Wilfred Bungei (2008) and of course David Rudisha (2012 and 2016) this race never looked likely to follow that pattern. A relatively slow first lap indicated a tactical race and a negative split would probably be needed to be in the medals. In such races it is necessary to stay close to the lead, but several athletes made the error to stay at the back and rely on their sprint finish, and they never really caught up.

But it was Emmanuel Korir who timed his efforts perfectly. Stay close to the lead, then accelerate, make sure you take the lead before going into the final straight and hang on for the gold. Behind him Ferguson Rotich finished fast and made it a Kenyan 1-2. Young Polish runner Patryk Dobek produced a strong finish to take the bronze. Nijel Amos, one of the pre-race favourites, ran out of steam and was unable to fight for the medals.

A full report (including heats and semis) can be found here.

 1. Emmanuel Korir         KEN   1:45.06
 2. Ferguson Rotich        KEN   1:45.23
 3. Patryk Dobek           POL   1:45.39
 4. Peter Bol              AUS   1:45.92
 5. Adrian Ben             ESP   1:45.96
 6. Amel Tuka              BIH   1:45.98
 7. Gabriel Tual           FRA   1:46.03
 8. Nijel Amos             BOT   1:46.41
 9. Clayton Murphy         USA   1:46.53
Emmanuel Korir at the start of the Olympic final
Tension is mounting. Emmanuel Korir is ready to start to the Olympic 800 m final. Less than two minutes later he would finish as the new Olympic Champion.

Wonderful world lead for Nijel Amos in Monaco

Traditionally Monaco is great for middle distance running and the field this year was brimming with talent. In a fast first lap in just under 49 seconds just three runners dared to stay close to the pacemaker: tall Canadian Marco Arop lead the way, Emmanuel Korir and the experienced Nijel Amos were hot on his heels.

As the race progressed these three stayed well out of reach for the other athletes. But on the final straight Korir and Amos passed the tiring Arop, with Amos showing his typical all out running style does still serve him well.

Amos even managed a 1:42, the fastest time in the world. It's the seventh time he has managed to run sub-1:43 (only Wilson Kipketer and David Rudisha have managed more) and amazingly five of those were run in Monaco! Behind him Korir ran his third fastest race ever, Arop ran a big PB, and Ferguson Rotich managed to run sub-1:44 for the 13th time in his career.

 1  Nijel Amos             BOT   1:42.91
 2  Emmanuel Korir         KEN   1:43.04
 3  Marco Arop             CAN   1:43.26
 4  Ferguson Rotich        KEN   1:43.57
 5  Elliot Giles           GBR   1:44.07
 6  Patryk Dobek           POL   1:44.28
 7  Clayton Murphy         USA   1:44.41
 8  Amel Tuka              BIH   1:44.85
 9  Gabriel Tual           FRA   1:45.08
10  Benjamin Robert        FRA   1:46.75
11  Bryce Hoppel           USA   1:47.74
Nijel Amos is back at the very top
And suddenly he is back again. Nijel Amos has been a world class 800 m runner ever since his 2012 Olympic silver. After his wonderful win who would rule him out for more Olympic glory later this year?

Murphy shines as Brazier falters

The US trials can be brutal. Three places are up for grabs. Finish outside of the top three and you're staying home, no matter how great your reputation might be.

Isaiah Jewett was prepared to run the race of his life. He took the lead and, as he said afterwards, "wanted to make this an honest race". He went so fast that most athletes had trouble keeping the pace. World Champion Donavan Brazier was able to stay close, Bryce Hoppel and Isaiah Harris were a little further back. Then, at the back straight, Clayton Murphy made his move. Hoppel and Harris were able to follow, but Brazier was struggling badly and unable to fight for a top three spot.

Murphy finished in a very fast time, that made him current world leader. Jewett kept going splendidly and finished in a big PB, Hoppel hung on for the third spot. Harris just missed the team, but the big shock was of course the elimination of Brazier. He looked desperately disappointed and with good reason: the reigning World Champion will miss the Olympics.

 1  Clayton Murphy         USA   1:43.17
 2  Isaiah Jewett          USA   1:43.85
 3  Bryce Hoppel           USA   1:44.14
 4  Isaiah Harris          USA   1:44.58
 5  Brannon Kidder         USA   1:45.08
 6  Samuel Voelz           USA   1:45.54
 7  Daniel Nixon           USA   1:45.56
 8  Donavan Brazier        USA   1:47.88
Clayton Murphy happy after his great race
How tough can you be? That, according to Murphy, was the question asked to the athletes during this fast race. Murphy convincingly showed he was the toughest man out there.

Sensational indoor run by Elliot Giles

Now that indoor meetings are being scheduled, be it without crowds, a number of athletes are hungry for racing. In Toruń, Poland, a strong field was assembled and the results did not disappoint.

Earlier this season Elliot Giles had already ran a 1"45 indoor, but in this race he reached another level. After a good job by the pacemaker Giles held the lead and maintained his speed right to the end.

He finished in a sensational 1:43.63i, the second fastest indoor time ever run behind Wilson Kipketer's 1997 World Indoor Record. Behind him fellow Brit Jamie Webb managed to break the 1"45 barrier as well.

 1  Elliot Giles           GBR   1:43.63
 2  Jamie Webb             GBR   1:44.54
 3  Andreas Kramer         SWE   1:45.09
 4  Adam Kszczot           POL   1:45.22
 5  Mateusz Borkowski      POL   1:46.20
 6  Amel Tuka              BIH   1:46.35
 7  Marc Reuther           GER   1:46.43
 8  Collins Kipruto        KEN   1:46.61
 9  Tony van Diepen        NED   1:46.97
Elliot Giles celebrates his fantastic win
What a performance! Elliot Giles celebrates his sensationally fast win in Toruń. It was the second fastest indoor run ever and only the fourth one below 1"44.