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Algerian resurgence in the m800

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  • Algerian resurgence in the m800

    Looked at the world lists for men's 800 today and noticed there were already five Algerians under 1:45 this year; compared to just two in the whole decade of the 2010s. Granted, 1) one of those two was Makhloufi and 2) people run in shoes now; but shoes or no shoes, four Algerians in the top 16 on the world list is impressive stuff.

    Djamel Sedjati (born '99), currently =#3 on the year list at 1:43.69, is an almost completely untested quantity; he's mostly competed in low-key meets in France and Algeria. His only real international appearance so far was at the World Indoors in Belgrade, where he went out in the heats; but with wins in 1:44.05 and 1:43.69 in consecutive weeks, hard to write him off completely. Yassine Hethat ('91) was the one non-Makhloufi Algerian to break 1:45 in the 2010s (more specifically, 1:44.81 in the Rio OG semi-finals); but after several quiet years he broke that old PB last year with 1:44.25, and this year he already has three 1:44s, including a new PB of 1:44.06 from the same Strasbourg race as Sedjati's PB. Slimane Moula ('99) has seen the most international action of the Algerians this year; most recently in the Stockholm DL last night, where he won comfortably in 1:44.60. (He also won the African championship this year, the first Algerian to win (or medal) in the m800 at either the African championships or the All-Africa Games since Makhloufi.) His PB of 1:44.19 is from Ostrava, where he was a close second behind Wanyonyi and beat Max Burgin. Mohamed Ali Gouaned ('02) was the WJC silver medalist in Nairobi last year (behind Wanyonyi) in 1:44.45; and he's backed that up this year with a pair of 1:44s, including a small PB of 1:44.43 from his 5th-place finish in Paris DL. (Like Sedjati and Moula, he seems to be a 400/800 type.) While a step behind the other four, the other Algerian to beat 1:45 this year has been Ramzi Abdenouz ('93), with 1:44.98 in Toulouse on May 26. (I tried to check if he was the son of RĂ©da Abdenouz, who was an Olympic finalist in '92 and holds an identical PB, but couldn't find any info.)

    I'm not entirely sure yet who Algeria is picking for Eugene, or how much can be expected there from a squad with little big-meet experience; but no one's been setting the men's 800 on fire this year, and historically Algerians have frequently punched above expectations at big meets. With the world lead at just 1:43.52 (Max Burgin), and a field where many of the runners with the best SBs are untested at global championships (not just the Algerians but also Burgin, Wanyonyi, Kinyamal, Benjamin Robert etc.), it looks like a wide-open event.

    Sedjati and Hethat will be competing at the Mediterranean Games this weekend, we'll see how they do there.

  • #2
    Great work, LopenUupunut!
    I've also noticed this special density of performance from Algerian athletes in the 800m event this 2022 season.
    Same feeling about this new wave of young British half-milers who seem to have a bright future too.
    Last edited by 79; 07-01-2022, 07:31 AM.

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    • #3
      Excellent stuff, LopenUupunut! The men's 800 just might be the most wide open event going into the World Championships. There are at least 15 people that have a chance to win a medal.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LopenUupunut View Post
        Djamel Sedjati (born '99), currently =#3 on the year list at 1:43.69, is an almost completely untested quantity; he's mostly competed in low-key meets in France and Algeria. His only real international appearance so far was at the World Indoors in Belgrade, where he went out in the heats; but with wins in 1:44.05 and 1:43.69 in consecutive weeks, hard to write him off completely
        He looks scary good so far. He may challenge for a medal!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Atticus View Post
          He looks scary good so far. He may challenge for a medal!
          I know a 400m runner from the national Algerian team: he told me Djamel Sedjati is a very huge talent. A limitless potential.

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