Ethan Katzberg competes in hammer throwAP/Bernat Armangue
AP/Bernat Armangue

Athletics: Katzberg sets Canadian record in hammer throw, Arop golden in 800m season debut

After finishing the 2023 campaign with a new Canadian record in the 800m, Edmonton’s Marco Arop set the tone for 2024’s Diamond League season with a convincing gold medal race in Xiamen, China.

Despite a late push from Kenya’s Wyclife Kinyamal, Arop held on to finish with a time of 1:43.61. Kinyamal crossed the line with a time of 1:43.66, nearly competing a come-from-behind victory, while Botswana’s Tshepiso Masalela finished in third.

Arop is coming off of a banner year in 2023 where he claimed the world championship title in the 800m, set a new Canadian record in the distance, and also set a personal best time in the 800m.

The reigning world champion has yet to appear in an Olympic final, but as Arop continues to perform at this level, it looks more and more likely that Paris 2024 will be his best chance to medal.

Elsewhere in the world of athletics, another one of Canada’s most promising medal contenders outdid themselves on Saturday with a new career, and Canadian best.

Ethan Katzberg threw a distance of 84.38 metres at the men’s hammer throw at the Kip Keino Continental Tour in Kenya, setting a new Canadian record.

Katzberg was the holder of the previous record, as he threw to a distance of 81.25 metres in 2023 when he won gold at the World Athletics Championship in Budapest in August 2023.

Not only did Katzberg throw well beyond his old record, but it’s the best distance by anyone in the event since 2008. The world record is 86.74 metres, set by Yuriy Sedykh of Russia in 1986.

All eyes will continue to be on Katzberg as Paris 2024 draws closer, the Olympic hammer throw competition takes place August 2 and 4.