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Marco Arop wins World Championship gold in the men’s 800m

Arop is the first Canadian athlete to win gold at a world championship in the men's 800m

Marco Arop Photo by: James Rhodes (@jrhodesathletics)

Marco Arop’s dream of being the 800m world champion has come true. On Saturday night at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Arop became the first Canadian middle-distance athlete to be crowned world champion, earning Canada’s third gold medal of the championships.

Marco Arop
Marco Arop storms to victory in the men’s 800m final at the 2023 World Athletics Championships. Photo: Kevin Morris

Arop said he was in the best shape of his life and delivered, showcasing his fitness, winning by three-tenths of a second over Kenya’s Emmanuel Wanyonyi, who won silver in 1:44.53. Ben Pattison won bronze for Team GB in 1:44.83.

In the heats and the semi-final, Arop came out on top in both races by leading from the front. However, in the final, he positioned himself at the back during the opening 400 metres. With one lap to go, he made a decisive move into lane three and went into the lead, holding on to cross the finish line in 1:44.24. He completed his final 400m in an impressive 50.9 seconds. As he secured the gold medal, he raised his arms in disbelief, a moment in Canadian running history.

“I wanted to prove I could get it done no matter the circumstances,” Arop told Canadian Running about his race tactics. “To execute this strategy in the world final—it’s incredible.”

Marco Arop
Photo: James Rhodes (@jrhodesathletics)

Last year, Arop won bronze in this event at the World Championships in Eugene. He led the race from the front and fell back to third in the final 50 metres. He said at the time that he was happy to win a medal but his dream was to become world champion.

“This (winning gold) is a significant accomplishment,” Arop emphasized. “Every year, I write out my goals, and this year, becoming a world champion was one of them.”

Although his family was watching from home in Edmonton, Arop shared the moment with his long-time university coach Chris Woods. “To have this backseat and watch Marco reap all the awards off his hard work, is one of the greatest feelings as a coach,” says Woods. “Winning the race is great, but him getting the recognition he deserves is just a little bit better.”

“I saw all the finals tonight and knew it was going to be a special day for Canadians,” says Arop. “This is by far the best team I’ve been a part of and I am so proud to be representing this country.”

The 2023 World Athletics Championships are taking place from August 19-27 at the National Stadium in Budapest, Hungary. All the action will be brought to you by Canadian Running and Asics Canada. Follow us on Twitter on Instagram for all things Team Canada and up-to-date exclusive news and content.

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