The top 10 athletes of 2018 so far
 1  Michael Saruni                  KEN  1.43.25   Tucson
 2  Jonathan Kitilit                KEN  1.43.46   Nairobi
 3  Ferguson Rotich Cheruiyot       KEN  1.43.73   Paris
 4  Wycliffe Kinyamal               KEN  1.43.91   Shanghai
 5  Nijel Amos                      BOT  1.44.18   Székesfehérvár
 6  Emmanuel Korir                  KEN  1.44.21i  New York
 7  Alfred Kipketer                 KEN  1.44.28   Tomblaine
 8  Saul Ordóñez                    ESP  1.44.36   Paris
 9  Isaiah Harris                   USA  1.44.42   Paris
10  Peter Bol                       AUS  1.44.56   Stockholm

Young talent Michael Saruni excels

The weather was fine, but otherwise nothing was indicating something quite special was going to happen in the Desert Heat Classic 800m race at Tucson, Arizona. Until 22-year old Michael Saruni displayed his huge talent.

After a reasonably fast first lap Saruni said he just felt good, so he decided to try to run a real fast time. And fast it was. With 1:43.25 he broke the NCAA record of 1:43.55, set two years ago by Donavan Brazier. And to add a nice trivia fact, it was also the fastest time ever run in the month of April.

Michael Saruni of course also won the NCAA indoor title earlier this year. And he set a 600m indoor world best as well. His time of 1:43.25 is so fast that last season only two athletes (Emmanuel Korir and Nijel Amos) managed to run faster, and even they could do so only once. Michael Saruni may well become one of the new stars on 800m running.

 1  Michael Saruni         KEN   1:43.25
 2  Carlos Villareal       MEX   1:46.70
 3  Jonah Koech            KEN   1:47.12
 4  Collins Kibet          KEN   1:47.83
 5  Hari Sathymurti        USA   1:49.93
 6  Brian Smith            USA   1:50.68
Michael Saruni
What a talent! Michael Saruni broke several records as he won his race in Tucson. A new NCAA record, and he also ran the fastest time ever recorded in April.

Kenya's Kinyamal is the Commonwealth champion

On paper Nijel Amos was the man to be reckoned with. And during the first lap all went right for the man from Botswana. A medium pace 52.01 meant he should be able to run a strong second lap and secure prolongation of his title.

The Kenyans though had other ideas. On the back straight Kinyamal saw how Amos was unable to press on and took over the lead. His compatriot Kitilit followed in third position. In the final straight though all three were visibly tiring. Kyle Langford and Luke Mathews were sprinting home looking for medals. Kitilit could only finish sixth, and a despearately disappointed Amos strolled home in last position.

Kinyamal though held on, if only just. It was a small miracle, he said. Due to a stiff back it had been unsure whether he could start at all. And now he could dream of more success. His career at the 800 m started only recently, since he was more inclined to do the high jump. And perhaps, he said, he may now meet David Rudisha, his hero. Who lives just a few minutes away, but who he has never yet spoken to. Surely that wish will soon be granted now.

 1  Wycliffe Kinyamal      KEN   1:45.11
 2  Kyle Langford          ENG   1:45.16
 3  Luke Mathews           AUS   1:45.60
 4  Jake Wightman          SCO   1:45.82
 5  Brad Mathas            NZL   1:46.07
 6  Jonathan Kitilit       KEN   1:46.12
 7  Joseph Deng            AUS   1:47.20
 8  Nijel Amos             BOT   1:48.45
Kinyamal celebrates Commonwealth gold
Gold at last! Wycliffe Kinyamal celebrates his first major success and Kenya's first gold medal. Until this race the Commonwealth Games had been rather disappointing for Kenya.

Adam Kszczot takes yet another title!

And another one! After a streak of indoor victories this season Adam Kszczot was the clear favourite before the race. When no one wanted to take the lead during the first two laps (just 55.77 at 400 m) they played right into the hands of the quick Pole. With two devastating finishing laps (the last one in 25.06!) he proved once again that he is next to unbeatable in any sort of tactical race.

Kszczot has now collected an amazing array of medals: twice he took silver at the outdoor WC. Two golds and a bronze at the outdoor EC. Three European indoor titles, and now a World Indoor Gold to go with his silver from 2014 and his bronze from way back in 2010.

After the finish there was a bit of controversy since Drew Windle was initially disqualified for pushing. At the indoor 800 m, with its tight bends and high pace a bit of contact is almost unavoidable, so reasonably enough he was reinstated again.

 1  Adam Kszczot           POL   1:47.47
 2  Drew Windle            USA   1:47.99
 3  Saul Ordóñez           ESP   1:48.01
 4  Elliot Giles           GBR   1:48.22
 5  Álvaro de Arriba       ESP   1:48.51
 6  Mostafa Smaili         MAR   1:48.75
Adam Kszczot sprints past the field
Full speed ahead! Adam Kszczot sprints past the field to take the lead. He would never look back and convincingly score his first World Indoor Title.

Terrific Indoor run by Emmanuel Korir

Emmanuel Korir may be the brightest talent at 800 m currently, and he gave yet another demonstration of his abilities. During the Millrose Games at New York he outpaced Donavan Brazier with a final lap in just over 26 seconds and finished in a sensational time of 1:44.21, the fastest indoor time for 18 years.

Korir's time means he is now third fastest on the all time indoor list. Only the legendary Wilson Kipketer and Yuriy Borzakovskiy have ever run faster. Korir also set a new African record, improving the previous record pf 1:44.52 which was held by Mohamed Aman since 2014.

Behind Korir American runners Brazier an Drew Windle set PB's as well. They are now ranked as number two and three on the US all time indoor list, with just Johnny Gray's long standing (1992!) 1:45.00 ahead of them.

 1  Emmanuel Korir         KEN   1:44.21
 2  Donavan Brazier        USA   1:45.35
 3  Drew Windle            USA   1:45.53
 4  Kyle Langford          GBR   1:46.43
 5  Clayton Murphy         USA   1:46.61
 6  Jesse Garn             USA   1:47.58
 7  Sho Kawamoto           JPN   1:47.78
 8  Wesley Vázquez         PUR   1:47.80
 9  Casimir Loxsom         USA   1:50.54
Brazier and Korir heading the field
The best is yet to come. Although Emmanuel Korir was trailing Donavan Brazier for most of the race he would run a blazing final lap. At the finish Korir would be leading by well over a second.