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Canadian 800-metre specialist Marco Arop may go after David Rudisha’s 800-metre world record in 2024. He also plans on racing to gold during the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. He already owns a World Championships gold medal from Budapest in August 2023.

Arop, from Edmonton, Alberta may be the smoothest running 800m runner in history. His change in speed is almost imperceptible, as he passes through 600m and runs the curve and straight stretch in the two-lap race. A little strain on the face and his shoulders barely come up. There appears to be no vertical oscillation — he is smooth like a train on the track. Does he have the aerobic engine to take nearly two more seconds off of his own personal best?

“It’s a big year this year, and I want to become the Olympic champion and chase world records, including the 800m world record,” said Arop.

Arop has run as fast as 1:42.85, which is the current Canadian record. The 25-year-old set that time in September 2022 at Hayward Field in Eugene, OR, the same building where he had won the World Athletics Championships bronze medal two months prior. He holds three other national records including indoors or “short track” 800m and 1000m as well as the 1000m outdoors. The 1000m short track he set in Boston at the New Balance Grand Prix on Feb. 4, 2024.

According to the World Athletics points performance rating system the 1000m record is valued at 1261 points. The current and 12-year-old 800m outdoor world record is valued at 1301 points. The time was set by Kenyan David Rudisha at 1:40.91 during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, UK.

Arop will need to lop a staggering nearly two seconds off of his current personal best to better Rudisha’s time. However, the points value of Arop’s 800m best is 1240. The value of his new 1000m short track record is 1261. If the point values are accurate from event to event, Arop is closer than it appears.

Arop is ranked number two in the world at the moment. Ranked number one is a Kenyan named Emmanuel Wanyonyi. The 19-year-old has run as fast as 1:42.80 during the 2023 Prefontaine meet in Eugene in Sept.

“My target (in 2024) is to run 1:41,” said Wanyonyi.

With super shoes or super spikes, age on their side and the build-up to the 2024 Olympic Games, both athletes may close the gap on Rudisha’s aging world record. But only time will tell if either can approach the daunting record held by Rudisha.

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