Edmonton’s Marco Arop wins men’s 800 metres in Diamond League opener

Marco Arop of Canada celebrates winning the gold medal ahead in the Men's 800-meters final during the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Martin Meissner. MS

Canadian runner Marco Arop won Saturday’s men’s 800 metres in the season-opening Diamond League meet.

The 25-year-old from Edmonton posted a time of one minute 43.61 seconds and held off a charge by Kenyan runner-up Wycliffe Kinyamal, who crossed the line in 1:43.66 at Egret Stadium.

“It’s my fastest season opener and I feel pretty good so I’m looking forward to what’s to come,” said Arop, who is the reigning world champion in the distance.

“If we’re able to stay healthy, then the best is yet to come. It’s going to be a great year.

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“The goal is to make the Olympic final, something I’ve yet to do.”

Tshepiso Masalela of Botswana came third, in 1:43.88.

Xiamen was the first stop on the 15-meet Diamond League circuit, which concludes Sept. 13-14 in Brussels.

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Sarah Mitton of Brooklyn, N.S., finished fourth in women’s shot put with a throw of 19.35 metres.

Lijiao Gong of China was the winner at 19.72 metres.

New Zealand’s Maddison-Lee Wesche threw 19.63 for second, narrowly beat reigning world champion Chase Jackson of the U.S., who came in third at 19.62.

Click to play video: 'Middle distance Edmonton track star on the rise'
Middle distance Edmonton track star on the rise

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