Kenya: Olympic Trials - Epic Battle Expected in 800m as Favourites Reach Final

An explosive final awaits in the men's 800m final on Saturday after United States-based Emmanuel Korir and Michael Saruni easily won their respective semi-final races during the National Trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Thursday.

Also to ease through to the final was the World 800m bronze medallist Ferguson Rotich, who finished seconds behind Korir in the first semi-final, returning 1:45.78 against 1:45.46.

As Rotich settled for bronze at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Korir, for the second consecutive time, failed to reach the final despite being one of the favourites to win.

It's in Doha where Korir reached the final of men's 400m but finished sixth overall. He has since attained the Olympic qualifying standards.

"I will once again take a shot at the two races at the Olympics now that no one has qualified in 400m apart from me," said Korir, who expects a stiff battle on Saturday. "We have a strong field but I hope to prevail."

Saruni virtually jogged to the finish line in 1:44.96 beating Elias Ngeny to second place in 1:45.25, the second fastest in the semi-finals as Nicholas Kiplagat came in third in 1:45.31.

"I am more than ready and looking forward to a great final," said Saruni adding that he will discuss with his coach Paul Ereng to come up with a good strategy that will deliver victory. "I want to keep focus since Kenya trials are the hardest."

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