Korir, Rotich qualify for Olympics 800m final

Korir, Rotich qualify for Olympics 800m final

Poland's Patryk Dobek (right) crosses the finish line to win ahead of second-placed Kenya's Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir (third left) and third-placed Mexico's Jesus Tonatiu Lopez (left) in the men's 800m semi-finals Heat 1 during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 1, 2021.

Photo credit: Javier Soriano | AFP

Kenya's quest to retain David Rudisha's gold medal in the 800 metres received a major boost on Sunday after two athletes qualified for the final.

Emmanuel Korir and Ferguson Rotich will line up in the final and will be charged with the responsibility of bringing the gold home.

While Rotich won Heat 3 in 1:44.04, Korir had to dig deep at the home straight to get the automatic slot in Heat 1.

Korir, who was earlier on Saturday red-carded for a false start in the 400m race, made ammends by finishing second in Heat 1 of the semi-finals behind Patryk Dobek of Poland.

Korir clocked 1:44.74 while race winner Dobek timed 1:44.60.

The top three athletes from each of the three heats qualify for the final as well as two athletes with the fastest times.

Kenya's other representative Michael Saruni finished a disappointing sixth in Heat 2 that was won by Australian Bol.