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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan Emmanuel Korir relishes world record run in
season ender in Diamond League, Continental Cup

By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- African 800m silver medalist Emmanuel Korir of Kenya says he is not under pressure to break the world record having come close to setting a new mark in London last month.

Korir, 23, however believes he has what it takes to improve on David Rudisha’s mark of one minute 40.91 seconds.

Korir is the sixth fastest runner in 800m history with a personal best time of one minute and 42.05. He is the only one who has come close to Rudisha’s record in the last three seasons.

Now he has three races lined up heading to the season close, which he wants to exploit and see if he may be able to run faster. His first attempt on the world mark will come this Saturday in Birmingham Diamond League.

He will then run in Brussels, the final round of the Diamond League on Aug. 31 and wind up his season with the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, the Czech Republic on Sept 8-9.

“I know I’m capable of running faster. What I don’t know is where and when that will happen. It may be this season or next year. However, I am certain to go for the world record. It is not just a matter of speaking but taking that into action as well,” Korir told Xinhua Thursday in Nairobi.

Over 15 Kenyan athletes will be competing at the Birmingham Diamond League, but for Korir the race will mean a lot to him.

Apart from trying to run fast time, he was denied a chance to compete on the same ground in March over visa hitch, which saw him miss the World Indoor Championships.

Saturday will grant him the chance to show the crowds what he is capable of. Korir is trained by former world 800m champion Paul Ereng and is based at the USA where he is a student at the University of Texas in El Paso.

Korir missed gold at the Africa Championships two weeks ago on what he termed poor officiating. He lost out to Botswana’s Nigel Amos in the finals.

“The race starter is to blame for my loss. There is no way a race can start while people are standing. In athletics, if you lose one second it is not easy to recover. I had planned to give it my all in the final 150m but it was not easy,” Korir said.

Last year Korir ran the season with an injury, but with it out of the way, he believes he will be able to secure his target in the remaining three races this season.

“My biggest race remaining is the Continental Cup. I want to go to Ostrava and win the gold medal. It will be very good for my confidence. Then after we can talk about the 2019 Doha World Championships,” he added.

             

 

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