Marco Arop is capping off his amazing 2019 with the announcement that he will be going professional in the new year. The 2018 Canadian 800m champion is in his third year of schooling at Mississippi State University, and instead of completing his eligibility, he has decided to sign a professional deal, making him ineligible to compete in the NCAA.
— Marco Arop (@marco_arop) December 23, 2019
Arop burst onto the scene in 2018 when he beat Canadian record-holder Brandon McBride at the national championship 800m. Arop ran an honest race, leading start to finish and besting McBride, who was the defending champion. “I had two plans going into the race: either follow the leader, or control the race. Obviously I ended up controlling the race. I was certainly running scared, but I think that ended up helping me.”
Arop immigrated to Canada from Sudan in 2002 and now calls Edmonton, Alta. home. Coincidentally, McBride also attended Mississippi State, and had a big impact on Arop’s decision to attend the school.
Since his breakout race in 2018, Arop has catapulted onto the scene. In 2019 he became the Pan American 800m champion, a World Championship finalist and an NCAA silver medallist. Arop hasn’t disclosed who he has signed with.