Rudisha confirms Doha date


MONACO, France, April 21 – Kenya's 800m world record holder David Rudisha confirmed on Thursday that he will open his Diamond League campaign for the second consecutive year in Doha on May 6.

Rudisha last year won a thrilling duel with Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop in the Qatari capital, and went on to produce one of the finest 800m seasons in history, twice breaking the world record over the distance.

This year he arrives in Doha riding a 17-race win streak.

"My training has been good and my progress is coming along very well," said the 22-year-old, who opened his 2011 season with a world-leading 1:43.88 at the opening leg of the 2011 IAAF World Challenge in Melbourne last month.

"I’ve come back from Australia and my training has been strong. The way I feel, I think I’m going to do well in Doha."

His season opener in Melbourne wasn’t as fast as the 1:43.15 he clocked when he opened his 2010 campaign, but Rudisha said commitments at home after his historic season forced a slight delay to the start of his training programme.

"I started a little bit late with my training this year because of all the celebrations in Kenya after last season," he said. "I’m just a little bit behind, just one or two weeks, but I’m feeling good now. I’m happy I’m back."

The two-time African champion added that his priority was the world championships in Daegu, South Korea where is will be targetting a first world title.

"I just want to run the way I did last year. With Daegu coming later this year, I just want to progress step-by-step, just like last year.

"I’ve been running well since about 2007, but up to now I’ve haven’t won any world championship titles so now I have to focus first on Daegu," Rudisha said.

"When you win titles you leave a legacy behind for people to remember you. My father (Daniel) won (4x400m Relay) silver at the Olympics in 1968 and people remember him. So it’s important to win world titles."

Rudisha also confirmed for the Rome leg of the Diamond League series on May 26, and will then run his first 1000m race at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on May 31.