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Rudisha eyes 800m world crown

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DAEGU, South Korea, August 29 – David Rudisha will bid to crown his world record-breaking feats by claiming the men’s 800m title on day four of the World Athletics Championships on Tuesday.

The Kenyan has put any thoughts of further bettering his men’s world record to one side, saying the world champs are all about bagging a gold medal ahead of the London Olympics.

Inexperience and bad weather contributed to his semi-final elimination at the 2009 worlds in Berlin but the two-lap star hopes his return to East Asia, where he won the junior world title in Beijing in 2006, will lead to further success.

Following his Berlin disappointment the 22-year-old began working on a strategy to break the long-standing world mark held by Kenyan-born Dane Wilson Kipketer with his pacemaker Sammy Tangui.

Last summer, he broke the record at the Berlin Olympic stadium, the same arena where he had flopped a year earlier.

Rudisha then bettered that mark of 1:41.09 a week later to 1:41.01 in Rieti, Italy and he went on to become the youngest runner in history to win the prestigious IAAF World Athlete of the Year award.

He was in imperious form in the semi-final, again running from the front to see off allcomers while clocking 1:44.20, the fastest ever time for a worlds semi.

In the final, he will go up against Kenyan teammate Alfred Yego, Polish duo Adam Kszczot and Marcin Lewandowski, Nick Symmonds of the United States, Ethiopian Mohammed Aman, Russia’s 2004 Olympic champion and three-time world minor medalist Yuriy Borzakovskiy and Sudan’s Abubaker Kaki.

Rudisha’s female teammates will bid for more glory in the 3000m steeplechase, after the exceptional six-medal showing the women’s teams came up with in the opening day’s marathon and 10,000m.

Qualification problems aside in Monday’s semi-final, LaShawn Merritt will bid to defend his title in the 400m.

The American, who also won the 2008 Olympic title but only last month came back from a doping ban, will likely face toughest competition from Grenada duo Rondell Bartholomew and Kirani James.

Double amputee Oscar Pistorius of South Africa faces a tough test to get into the final, his heat time — the second fastest he’s ever done — only 14th best in qualifying.

In Tuesday’s evening session, medals will also be decided in the heptathlon and the men’s discus.

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