2013 End-of-year Review – Men’s 800m
Statisticians A Lennart Julin and Mirko Jalava look back on the best middle distance performances of the year, with Julin covering the menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s events and Jalava the womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s.
It could be said that 2012 was, perhaps, the greatest year ever over two laps of the track, including a thrilling London 2012 Olympic Games final which saw world records for seniors and juniors, a year which revamped the world all-time list for juniors with new top three and three more entries in the top nine.
Consequently, the expectations for 2013 were immense as five of those six men would still be juniors. It turned out that only one of them would improve but he. EthiopiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Mohamed Aman, moved into the number one position left vacant in early summer by injuries to the reigning Olympic and World champion David Rudisha.
AmanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only loss was to Rudisha in early May at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha, and he went on to win his five other Diamond League races, culminating in 2013 world-leading time of 1:42.37 at the IAAF Diamond league final in Brussels.
His winning asset was his strength down the final straight. In AmanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nine finals after his defeat in Doha, he had an average winning margin of 0.6 and closest was the 0.24 advantage he had over the US silver medallist Nick Symmonds at the IAAF World Championships in August, which Aman won in 1:43.31 to become the youngest ever World Championships medallist of any hue.
If other youngsters failed to progress 2013, there was a revival of the old guard headed by Symmonds who, at the age of 29, actually ran five of his six fastest times ever and finished the season with second in Brussels in 1:43.03.
There were, almost inevitably, some new names coming to the fore.
DjiboutiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 1500m specialist Ayanleh Souleiman ventured successfully into this distance and got the bronze medal in Moscow behind Aman and Symmonds, having earlier in the season run a national record of 1:43.63.
FranceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 21-years old Pierre-Ambroise Bosse compiled a solid season at in the 1:43-1:44 range. KenyaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ferguson Cheruiyot came out of nowhere and, despite not progressing from his heat in Moscow, showed his talent when finishing third behind Aman and Symmonds in Brussels in 1:43.22 for third on the 2013 world list.