Tony Van Diepen convincingly reached the semi-finals of the 800 meters at the World Championships in Athletics in Eugene, USA. The 26-year-old athlete from Herhogovard finished second in his series with a time of 1.46.59 and was put on the spot. He just had to let Algerian Djamel Sedjati go first (1.46.39). The semi-final matches will be played on Thursday night (Netherlands time).
Van Dieben now has a memorial locker bloated with the medals he won in the 400m and 4x400m relay. He won Olympic silver with the men’s team in Tokyo, gold at the World Substitution Championships and European Futsal Championships, and this spring bronze with 4×400 at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade. In Eugene he ran for silver in the 4x400m mixed race with Liemarvin Bonevacia, Lieke Klaver and Femke Bol.
Despite these successes, his heart is at 800 metres. It’s not for nothing that Tony2Laps is his favorite name. This year, at a lovable distance, he finally ran important times. With his personal best estimate of 1.44.12, he took eleventh place in the world rankings.
This was a spoiled race for me because we got through the first lap slowly. This is not good for me.
“I’m relieved,” Van Diepen said shortly after his race. It’s the first time in a major tournament that I’ve crossed the 800m series. The goal is to get a place in the final, so I hope to develop myself again in the semi-finals. This was a spoiled race for me because we got through the first lap slowly. This is not good for me. Last year at the Olympics it killed me and I was eliminated in the qualifiers, but this time I succeeded.”
Van Diepen accelerated on the exit from the last corner. “Just not hard enough, I noticed halfway. Because you know there’s another race coming up, your body automatically goes into low power mode. So I had to run the last bit a bit, but soon I saw that it was enough.”
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