EUGENE, Ore. (KTSM) – Emmanuel Korir looked – and probably felt – much more like himself on Thursday night at the 2022 Track and Field World Championships.

One day after running a very slow 1:49.05 in the first round of the 800 meters in Eugene, but still qualifying for the semifinals by virtue of winning his hear, Korir came to the track motivated for Thursday’s semifinals.

The two-time national champion at UTEP and reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 800m, Korir chased down the entire field in the final lap to win heat one of the semifinals in 1:45.38, his fastest time of the season and almost four seconds faster than the time he clocked in on Wednesday. It was the third-fastest time of anyone in the semifinals.

His best race of the year also helped him qualify for Saturday night’s 800 meter finals in Eugene, where Korir will look to keep his title as the best half-miler in the world.

Korir kicked hard with his trademark head bob in the final 100 meters, cruising past three other competitors in the outside lanes to earn himself a heat victory.

It was a very familiar scene to what Korir did in Tokyo last summer to win Olympic gold, chasing down the field. If he can win one more race on Saturday night at 7 p.m. MT in Oregon, he’ll truly solidify himself as one of the great 800 meter runners of this generation.