MONACO (KTSM) – Former UTEP track and field star Emmanuel Korir, who won a pair of national championships for the Miners in 2017, appears to be peaking at the right time.

Running in a stacked 800-meter field at Diamond League Monaco 2021, that featured 11 2021 Olympians and six of the top 10 half-milers in the world, Korir finished in second place in a season-best 1:43.04.

The man who took first, Nijel Amos, finished in 1:42.91, the fastest time in the world this year. Korir’s second-place time in the race doubled as the second-fastest time in the world in 2021, just two weeks before he will compete for Kenya at the Olympics in both the 400 and 800 meters.

Korir is one of eight athletes with UTEP ties that will run for their countries at the Tokyo Olympics. Korir will be joined by Kenyan countryman Michael Saruni in the men’s 800M; Sean Bailey will represent Jamaica in the 400M and 4×400 meters, while Ned Azemia (Seychelles) and Churandy Martina (Netherlands) will compete in the 400M hurdles and 4x100M relay, respectively.

On the women’s side Blessing Okagbare (100M, 200M, 4x100M) and Tobi Amusan (100M hurdles) will both compete for Nigeria; and incoming Miners freshman Loubna Benhadja will run the 100M for Algeria.