Kenya's Emmanuel Korir ran the fastest 800m since 2012, clocking 1:42.05 to light up the second day of the Anniversary Games in London - the 11th meeting of the 2018 IAAF Diamond League Series of meetings, on Sunday 22 July.
The 23-year-old Kenyan takes the accolade from Nijel Amos of Botswana, who illuminated Friday night’s Monaco meeting by winning in 1:42.14, but was helpless as Korir produced a powerful front-running, head-turning performance.
Korir took up a spot behind pacer Bram Som, who took them through the first lap in 49.87. Though Wycliffe Kinyamal was probing in his wake, Korir – who won the Kenyan 400m title in 44.21 last month – clung to the rail to repel the challenge.
He then pulled away through the final 200 metres to lower the world lead and smash the meeting record. It catapults him to sixth on the all-time lists, a feat not even Korir expected so soon.
“I am happy because that is a huge performance from me,” he said. “My personal best I set last year, and I wanted to break that maybe next year, but I managed it earlier than planned. It’s important to beat those guys because they’re all really strong.”
Kinyamal was overtaken through the final bend by American Clayton Murphy, just holding to claim second in 1:43.12; Kinyamal was awarded the same time, a PB, to finish third and stay atop of the Diamond League standings.
Nijel Amos was fourth in 1:43.29 – impressive given his exploits less than 48 hours earlier.