Edmonton’s Marco Arop was overtaken by 2019 world champion and U.S. record-holder Donavan Brazier down the straightaway Sunday in an impressive second-place performance in the men’s 800 metres at the Stockholm Diamond League track and field meet.
Arop, 21, went out hard at Stockholm Olympic Stadium and sat second behind Slovenia’s Zan Rudolf until taking the lead at 500 metres ahead of Sweden’s Andreas Kramer and Brazier.
The Canadian remained in front until Brazier accelerated on the outside down the stretch and crossed the line in one minute 43.76 seconds. Arop followed in 1:44.67 and Kramer in a season-best 1:45.04.
“My preference would be to control [a] race,” Arop told CBC Sports recently. “If I can somehow get ahead of everybody I can make the choice whether we kick early.
“I can race in any scenario. I just know that if I was ahead of the pack it would probably play out better for me.”
WATCH | Marco Arop places 2nd behind reigning 800m world champ:
The Sudan-born Arop, making his debut at the Bauhaus-galan meet, was fresh off a second-place showing Wednesday at the Irena Szewinska Memorial in Bydgoszcz, Poland, where he crossed the line in 1:45.75. On Aug. 14, Arop ran a personal-best 1:44.14 in his season debut at the Monaco Diamond League.
Brazier set a season world-leading time that day of 1:43.15, coming off a 2019 campaign during which the 2016 NCAA champion set an American indoor 800 record, the world’s fastest indoor 600 in history, his first Diamond League win, a repeat national title and the Diamond League Final title.
WATCH | Arop sets personal-best time in Monaco:
“Donavan can win going out fast or slow,” said Arop of Brazier, who was near the back of the pack early in Sunday’s race before taking charge. “With guys like Donavan, it doesn’t matter how the race plays out, I’m always going to learn something.”
Elsewhere, Canadian hurdler Sage Watson concluded her brief outdoor season with a fifth-place finish in the women’s 400 event. She stopped the clock in 56.31 seconds, four days after placing third in 56.29 at a World Athletics Continental Tour stop in Székesfehérvar, Hungary.
The national record-holder from Medicine Hat, Alta., will rest for five weeks before returning to train in October in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics that were postponed from this summer until next July.
WATCH | Hurdler Sage Watson ends season with 5th-place finish: