TORONTO – Tri-Village graduate Clayton Murphy ran the fastest time in the 800 meters on Wednesday morning at the Pan American Games in Toronto.
Murphy won the first 800 meters semifinal race with a time of 1:48.88, beating second place finisher Rafith Rodriguez of Columbia by 0.18 seconds. Fellow American Ryan Martin won the second semifinal race in 1:48.99, 0.11 seconds behind Murphy’s pace.
With his performance in the semifinals, Murphy earned one of the eight spots in Thursday’s Pan American Games 800 meter final. The race is scheduled to begin at 6:40 p.m. Thursday.
“Clayton looked great today running a textbook race for a semifinal round,” Akron head coach Dennis Mitchell said, according to gozips.com. “It will be an exciting race tomorrow night.”
Murphy, who runs for the University of Akron cross country and track and field teams, has a personal best of 1:45.59 in the 800 meters. That is the third fastest time of the eight runners in the finals at the Pan American Games behind only Martin (1:44.77) and Rodriguez (1:44.31).
The Pan American Games are held once every four years with more than 6,000 athletes from 41 nations throughout North America and South America competing in the 2015 games. The Pan American Games run from July 10 through July 26 in Toronto with competitions in 37 sports. The American roster consists of 623 men and women, including 111 Olympians.
For more information on the Pan American Games, visit www.toronto2015.org.