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Rudisha out to three-peat in Diamond League

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NAIROBI, Kenya, April 11- World men 800m champion and record holder, David Rudisha has rolled his sleeves up for a spirited assault on bagging his hat trick of Samsung Diamond League (DL) titles.

On Wednesday, Rudisha who is among the headline acts at the opening meet of the 14 event series on May 11 in Doha outlined his burning desire to complete the treble in the elite circuit in a season he is also raring to be crowned as an Olympics champion.

“My season started well coming from Australia and this time, I feel good and my preparations are going well. It is a great thing to win the Diamond League since it shows your persistence to compete throughout a season,” Rudisha told the IAAF Media Conference call that involved 13 international news outlets.

The Diamond Trophy holder from the last two seasons told how an ankle injury at the infant stages of the 2011 campaign almost put paid to his aspirations as a repeat winner.

“I was a little bit worried I missed a few races but I managed to come in at the right time and win the remaining races to defend my title. Just like the other years when I broke the world record and won the world title, the DL has always been part of my preparations and shaping up and this year, it’s about preparing for London,” the Daegu world titleholder stated.

He added: “I will do it as a plan to get to the Olympics in good shape. I don’t want to miss it as some people like to say they want to focus on training ahead of big competitions

“Everybody is preparing for the London Olympics but I have nothing to worry about is since I’m not ready to lose. Like everyone else, I’m going to win the title and at the end of the day, when it comes to the final that’s when we shall know who has trained well.”

The ghost of missing out on the Beijing Olympics with an Achilles injury is still haunting the runner who came to global prominence after winning the 2006 World Junior title in the same city.

“I hope that I do not get injured this year and if that happens, I will do all my best to win the Olympics title. I’m under a lot of pressure from everyone, starting with my friends in Kenya. Expectations are very high but I have learned how to cope with running in championship races.

“In 2008, I missed the (Kenyan) Trials and the whole season afterwards and it is not good when you watch people running and winning in the Olympics. I have given priority and I will do anything to achieve my Olympics dream but I’m happy Wilfred Bungei won the title,” Rudisha offered.

Having met and become friends with the chairman of the organising committee for London 2012 Olympics Lord Sebastian Coe, Rudisha is keen to give one of his stated idols a performance that will highlight the showpiece.

“I want to make Lord Coe proud. I started watching the Olympics in 2004 I was really touched by the surrounding atmosphere and my father was an Olympian in 1968 and we can have two medals from the Olympics at home,” he explained.

The reigning twice African titleholder conveyed his delight at returning to the Middle East city to launch his campaign this year after being absent through injury in Doha last season.

“I have been competing in Doha since 2007 after coming up from junior and it is a good place. It gives me a good test to see whether what I have arranged with my coach and manager is working.”

In a result that sent shock waves in the two-lap order, Rudisha surprisingly lost to Ethiopian World Indoor champion, Mohammed Aman during his last race of 2011 in what was a first defeat in 26; Rudisha is braced for a showdown with the teenage new find alongside his long term rival, Sudan’s Abubaker Kaki for DL honours.

“Every year is different and each year you come with a different approach. Last season, I missed a bit of my training but now, I know he will be coming and he did a good thing by beating me since it made me improve on my focus,” the son of the Mexico Olympics 4X400m relay silver medallist, Daniel Rudisha charged.

Rudisha explained why he shuns indoors running in favour of beginning his year in Australia where he takes part in a 400m and 800m race at the Sydney and Melbourne Track Classics.

“I have never tried indoors before since due to my height and long strides, I might go there and pick and ankle injury or back problems since it is hard for me to run well in the tight corners.

“It is good to have a break and that is why I got to Australia as part of my training and to test my shape and when I return, I usually know what to do.”

He was speaking from his training base at St. Patrick’s High School Iten (elevation some 2500m) after doing his daily work out that equates to some 10km as he builds-up for Doha.

World Indoors 3000m silver medallist, Augustine Choge and the 2008 Africa 5000m silver winner, Isaac Songok are among his training partners under renowned Irish coach Bro. Colm O’Connell.

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