Kenyan star athlete Rudisha to open season in Australia

December 28th, 2011 - 4:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Nairobi, Dec 28 (IANS) Kenya’s 800-metre athlete David Rudisha, who broke the world record in 2010 twice, will start his outdoor season in Australia at Melbourne and Sydney meetings to be held in March.

“I hope that running in Melbourne and Sydney will again set me up for a strong season and success at the Olympic Games in London (August),” the Kenya runner said in Eldoret.

Rudisha, 23, became the biggest star of the 2010 athletics season when he ran 1:41.01 and lowered his record of 1:41.09 he had set a week before. He has started his training after the break and hope to be in peak form starting March, Xinhua reported.

Australia is the place where Rudisha achieved his personal best in the 400 metres (45.50) in Sydney in February 2010. In March this year, he also won the 800 metres at Melbourne, clocking 1:43.15.

Rudisha’s victory in Brussels in 2011 was sandwiched between two of the greatest 800 performances ever — a world record five days before and another two days later. He was only 21 at the time.

His fame came after he broke the African record in Nairobi, in 2009, running 1 minute 42.01 seconds, he was confident that Wilson Kipketer’s 1:41.11 world record, set in 1997, was within his grasp.

“There was no other step left than to break the world record,” Rudisha said. “My aim was to run under 1:42. At Huesden, Belgium, some people were expecting the world record.”

He fell short of that time, running 1:41.51, at the time the second best 800 metres ever. The rest is history.

Rudisha has since moved on to win the world championships, world record and Africa title. But all that mean nothing to the 23-year-old who eyes the Olympics title.

“When I was a kid, my father (Daniel Rudisha) would show me his silver medal, which he won in Mexico City Olympics. I want to win an Olympic medal, maybe that way, I will be able to get even with him,” he said.

But already Rudisha’s collection has surpassed the senior Rudisha, who competed for Kenya in the 1968 Olympics in the 4×400 metres relay where he won the silver medal with his team mates Munyoro Nyamau, Naftali Bon and Charles Asati.

He holds the three fastest time in 2011 with his run of 1:41.33 in Rieti, Italy coming shy by just 32 seconds to equal his record. But it was the best ever by any standards of the season from all elite athletes.

He also run 1:42.61 in Monaco and 1:42.91 in London. The closest rival to him was Sudan’s Abubakar kaki whose season best was 1:43.13.

The world indoor champion remains Rudisha’s main rival in 2012 and stands in his way to that gold medal in 2012.

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