Canada’s Marco Arop cruised into the men’s 800-metre semifinals on Tuesday at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.
Arop, the reigning bronze medalist, made his move to the front of the pack with about 200 metres left and never looked back, winning the last of seven heats with a time of one minute 45.05 seconds.
The 24-year-old ran over one second faster to land on the podium at 2022 worlds in Eugene, Ore.
Arop, who was born in Sudan and raised in Edmonton, made his Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 and is the defending Pan Am champion.
He’s now the top-ranked 800m racer in the world.
“The world rankings at this point mean nothing to me,” stated after the race. “It won’t mean anything unless I can prove it on the world stage here and that’s what I plan on doing.”
Emmanuel Korir, the reigning Olympic and world champion from Kenya, ran a season-best 1:46.78, but concluded fourth in his heat and failed to qualify. The fastest qualifier was fellow Kenyan Emmanuel Wanyonyi at 1:44.92.
Canada’s Abdullahi Hassan, making his world championship debut, won’t advance after crossing the finish line fifth in his heat at 1:46.33.
Arop was the second Canadian man to ever medal at worlds in the event after Gary Reed collected silver in 2007 in Osaka, Japan. He’ll return to the track for semis on Thursday. The medal race goes Saturday.