Arop fastest in men’s 800m qualifying, McBride awaits protest


EUGENE, Oregon – Marco Arop announced his return to the international stage with authority in the men’s 800m qualifying heats at the World Championships in Athletics with the best time of all competitors.

By winning his heat, Arop automatically qualifies for Thursday night’s semi-finals, which are set for 9:00 p.m. CT. His time of 1:44.56 was his third-fastest time of the outdoor season, and only four other runners clocked less than 1:45.00 over the six runs.

Arop took the lead in the last corner 200m from the finish. On the front stretch, it looked like he would be caught, and momentarily he was, but with three powerful strides, the 6-foot-4 MSU record holder reaffirmed his lead.

Former MSU record holder Brandon McBride and defending SEC champion Navasky Anderson ended up holding back in the third inning. The two were in the center of a series of scrambles as they approached the corner exiting the backstretch.

McBride dropped to the 200m mark after tangling with Anderson and American Bryce Hoppel. He fell nearly five seconds off the pace as he got up off the track and saw the peloton drifting away.

“It’s really, really disappointing,” McBride told CBC Canada. “It all happened so fast. I’m in shock. We’ll have to see if we can protest this and see if anything comes of it.

Anderson survived the collision and slipped to second position, clocking just three hundredths of a second off the pace. He stayed ahead of the pack for the 500 m split, but couldn’t kick the backstretch and fell back to seventh in the heat.

The heats were among the fastest in the history of the World Championships in Athletics. Previously, the fastest time not to advance from the opening rounds was 1:46.24 in 2007. This year, the fastest non-qualifying mark was 1:46.05.

McBride and Athletics Canada will file a protest, and the Bulldog runner could be reinstated later Wednesday night. Anderson’s world championship run is over.

Three more Bulldogs remain to begin championship competition in Eugene, Oregon, the site of this year’s NCAA championships.

The men’s javelin will start on July 21 with former teammates Anderson Peters (GRN) and Curtis Thompson (USA) throwing side-by-side again for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics. Peters is the reigning world champion of the event.

American Tiffany Flynn will complete the competition in the women’s long jump, an event in which she placed fourth at the World Indoor Championships earlier this year. Preliminary rounds begin July 23.

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