Rudisha lined to spice Narok meet


NAIROBI, Kenya, March 31- World 800m record holder, David Rudisha, is among top athletes lined-up to spice the second NBK/AK Track and Field meeting that starts Friday in Narok.

Speaking to Capital FM, Athletics Kenya (AK) relations officer, Peter Angwenyi, also disclosed more than 1000 runners are expected to participate in the domestic build-up for August’s IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

“Rudisha is among the international runners from this area who will be there to support the upcoming talent that will feature here. We expect bigger numbers than the opening meeting in Kisumu since there is a full track and field programme,” Angwenyi said.

Athletics Kenya (AK) whose entire top brass will be at the two-day affair that ends on Saturday penned the Narok event in the local track and field calendar in recognition of Rudisha’s barnstorming 2010 season where he broke the two-lap race record twice inside a week.

The runner who was born in Ol Tanki village in Kilgoris broke Kenyan born Dane’s Wilson Kipketer long standing 1:41.11 all time 800m top mark in Berlin by running 1:41.09 and a week later in Rieti, he smashed his own record by blasting to 1:41.01.

Rudisha has already won his two opening races this year in Australia with relative ease albeit at slower times as compared to the same period last year. He took top honours in the Melbourne Track Classic (March 4) in a world leading 1:43.88 and two weeks later (March 19), the record holder stopped the timer at 1:44.80 for victory in Sydney.

When contacted, Rudisha’s coach, Bro Colm O’Connell stressed Rudisha’s appearance at the Narok meeting was all down to the athlete who picked up the IAAF Continental Cup, IAAF Diamond League and African titles in his astonishing season.

“As you know, he just got back from Australia and took ten days off to rest. We have only just started to re-focus him for the season ahead since even though he won his two races, he ran slower than last year and this is something we are discussing,” the Patrician brother stated from his base in Iten.

“From here, it’s a long journey to Narok, meaning at least three days off and from a coaching perspective, we cannot afford that since we need to work on his fitness. Once the season starts, races will come thick and fast and we need to use the little time left well,” Bro Colm stressed.

Other notable stars from the region expected to grace the NBK/AK meeting include, Commonwealth, Continental Cup and African steeplechase titleholder, Richard Mateelong and the men 5000m African champion and Olympics bronze winner, Edwin Soi.

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