BERLIN, August 22 – It wasn’t a matter of if, but when.
And on Sunday, David Lekuta Rudisha delivered what the world had been anticipating, a new 800m world record at the IAAF World Challenge at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.
Rudisha set a new mark of one minute 41.09 seconds in the two lap race and insisted he can go faster still.
"This was my first real attempt to break the world record, I knew I was good, I had trained hard," said the softly-spoken Kenyan.
"Now that I have run that time, I can say I have the ability to improve and go faster.
"I am very happy, it feels great to have the world record."
His time shaved two hundredths of a second off the previous best mark set by Denmark’s Kenyan-born Wilson Kipketer in August 1997.
The 21-year-old African record holder and a world junior champion in the same distance in 2006, was led through the first 400m by pacesetter Sammy Tangui in 48.65sec.
Rudisha then managed to keep up his pace through to the line to break Kipketer’s long-standing record, something he had recently been threatening to do, so promising has been his recent form on the track.
Having only reached the 800m semi-finals at the World Athletics Championships here in Berlin last August, Rudisha said he came to the German capital with something to prove and wanted to make up for last year’s disappointment.
"Last year, I had a bad time in Berlin," he said.
"So I did not want to talk too much about the world record before the race.
"I knew it was my day, the weather was good.
"I told my pacemaker to run the first lap under 49 seconds. He did a great job, but in the last 200 metres I had to push really hard.
"But when I saw the clock at the end, it was amazing, a fantastic feeling.
"I am very happy to be the fastest 800 metres runner in the world.
"Running is like a profession to me, so this means everything."
Rudisha has been in great form all season while competing in Europe.
In Oslo’s Diamond League meeting in June, he broke Sebastian Coe’s 31-year-old meeting record with a run of 1 min 42.04 sec.
Then at a meet in the Belgian city of Heusden-Zolder in July, Rudisha timed 1:41.51, an African record and the fastest time in the world since Kipketer set the previous best 13 years ago.