SYDNEY, Australia, March 15 – In what's shaping up to be the hottest event on the ticket, Asbel Kiprop will square off against David Rudisha in the 800m at the Sydney Track Classic on Saturday (19) reports IAAF.
Kiprop, the Olympic 1500m champion, only on occasion lines up for the 800m but his record in the event is not something to ignore. In 2009, Kiprop set a personal best of 1:43.17 in Doha where he was narrowly defeated by two-lap ace Abubaker Kaki of Sudan. Last year, at the Samsung Diamond League opener, again in Doha, Kiprop clocked a fast 1:43.45 finishing second to Rudisha.
Rudisha’s 800m resume speaks for itself. He broke the World record twice last year to see it currently stand at 1:41.01, and was named the World Athlete of the Year. He made a triumphant return to the Australian Athletics Tour 10 days ago at the Melbourne Track Classic, the kick off of the 2011 IAAF World Challenge series, winning in 1:43.88.
With a major championship title still eluding the Australian all-comers record holder (1:43.15), his quest in 2011 is clear – win at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu or be left disappointed.
“Having the World record and not the world title, it just doesn’t sound good,” Rudisha told IAAF.
Kiprop too is looking this season to make up after disappointment at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, where he finished fourth in the 1500m and like Rudisha, failed to advance from the semi-finals.