3. Emmanuel Korir
World Record (WR) holder in the men’s 800m David Rudisha has certainly found a worthy successor in his younger compatriot Emmanuel Korir who is ranked 6th on the all-time list with a Personal Best (PB) of 1:42.05 and ensured that the men’s 800m World Championships title returned to Kenya in 2022.
Korir’s talent has never been in doubt since winning the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships in 2017, but it’s taken him some time to fully find his rhythm at the global championships. The Kenyan made his World Championships debut in London but exited the competition in the semifinals.
2018 was a phenomenal year for Korir as he maintained an unbeaten run in the 400m and 800m races he competed in, securing victories in the Diamond League series in Doha, Oregon, London and Birmingham, capping off his season with his first Diamond League trophy and then winning GOLD in the Continental Cup in Ostrava.
In 2019 Korir opted for the tough choice of doing the 400m/800m double in Doha which proved to be a costly decision as he eventually finished 6th in the 400m final while narrowly missing out on a place in the 800m final. That notwithstanding, the 2018 African Championships Silver medallist took the same decision at the Tokyo Olympics but was disqualified in the 400m.
He turned his sights fully to the 800m where he outclassed the rest of the field to inspire a 1-2 for Kenya in the final, racing to GOLD in 1:45.06 as Ferguson Rotich claimed Silver. Korir ended 2021 on a high as he claimed his second Diamond League trophy.
Korir opened his 2022 season in May and competed in a number of meetings before heading to Oregon for his third World Championships. He proved too strong for his contenders and won his heat and semifinal race. In the final, he came from behind to win convincingly in a Season’s Best (SB) of 1:43.71 and complete the Olympic-World double.
He would go on to compete in the 400m at the Commonwealth Games but was disqualified for a lane infringement. That notwithstanding, the season ended on a good note as Korir retained the Diamond League trophy in an SB of 1:43.26.