Ex Refugee, Joseph Deng smashes 50-year-old Australian 800m record at the Diamond League athletics

FIVE months ago Joseph Deng was a controversial Commonwealth Games selection bolter, now the former refugee is the fastest 800m runner in Australian history.

The incredible journey of Deng, 20, reached its pinnacle at the Monaco Diamond League meet overnight when he smashed the 50-year-old 800m record by clocking 1min44.21sec.Olympic gold medallist Ralph Doubell had set the previous Australian mark of 1:44.40sec at altitude at the 1968 Mexico City Games. It was then equalled by Alex Rowe in Monaco four years ago.

Deng was born in a Kenyan refugee camp in 1998 after his mother, Rebecca, fled the brutal civil war in Sudan. He doesn’t know his father.

The family arrived in Queensland in 2004, settling initially in Toowoomba before Deng attended Ipswich Grammar School where his athletic ability was first recognised.

He moved to Melbourne at the end of 2016 to team up with Rinaldi with the aim of making the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games team.

Source: Joseph Deng smashes 50-year-old Australian 800m record at the Diamond League athletics | PerthNow