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Marco Arop extends winning streak to five in Edmonton

The world 800m champion put on a show in his return to his hometown of Edmonton

Marco Arop Photo by: Kevin Morris

World 800m champion Marco Arop has had a flawless start to his 2024 Olympic campaign. The 25-year-old has won all his races this year and secured his fifth straight victory on Thursday afternoon in front of a hometown crowd at the Edmonton Athletics Invitational.

Arop cruised to a dominant win in the men’s 800m at the World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meet, recording his second-fastest time of the season (1:44.58). He beat Mexico’s Jesus Tonatiu Lopez, who finished second in 1:45.14.

The Edmonton Athletics Invitational at the University of Alberta’s Foote Field has been an annual stop on Arop’s competition schedule for the last three years. In 2016, Arop started his track and field career at the same venue, competing over 400 metres. Yesterday, Arop had his family, friends and previous coaches in attendance as part of his Olympic gold campaign.

In an interview with Postmedia earlier this week, Arop reflected on returning home to compete. “I remember my first junior nationals here,” he recalled. “That was the (2016) Olympic trials. It was a funny race, because I was so nervous with the crowd. I remember going out in 51 seconds. My 400 personal best was 50-point at the time, so I was basically running a personal best through the 400 and I still had another lap. I struggled and died.”

In 2023, Arop had a season to remember, winning his first world 800m title in Budapest and setting a new Canadian record of 1:42.82β€”the first Canadian man to run under the 1:43 mark for the two-lap distance.

Shukla shines in the women’s 800m

In the women’s 800m race in Edmonton, Toronto’s Jazz Shukla continued her impressive 2024 campaign with a 2:00.04-clocking to take down a loaded field consisting of the nation’s top middle-distance runners. Earlier this season, Shukla became the 10th Canadian woman to break the two-minute barrier for 800m, running 1:59.94.

Jazz Shukla Canada
Canada’s Jazz Shukla at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest. Photo: Kevin Morris

Shukla will have the chance to punch her ticket to Paris in two weeks at the 2024 Bell Canadian Track and Field Olympic Trials in Montreal.

For full results from the 2024 Edmonton Athletics Invitational, check here.

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