Athletics Athletics

Rudisha on the cusp of DL three-peat


NAIROBI, Kenya, August 29- In his first outing since his jaw-dropping 1:40.91 solo world record blast at the London Olympics, further history beckons for David Rudisha in Zurich on Thursday where he aims to three-peat as a Diamond Trophy winner.

The world awaits a suiting encore to Rudisha’s astonishing performance at the Olympics final when the men 800m series leader strips for the start of the two-lap decider at the Wetklasse Meeting to crown-off another barnstorming season by completing the hat-trick of the elite circuit series jackpot.

Paced by his trusted rabbit, Sammy Tangui, the world champion will race in the 800m men final against his London 2012 teammates, bronze winner, Timothy Kitum and Anthony Chemut who bowed out at the semis.

Joining them will be fellow Kenyan and world junior champion, Leonard Konsencha who missed the London selection race in July with world indoor winner, Mohammed Aman (Ethiopia), London finalist Andrew Osagie (Britain), Michael Rimmer (Britain) and Duane Solomon (USA) completing the cast.

Unbeaten Rudisha leads the Diamond Race with eight points, having won the New York and Paris legs two ahead of Aman with Sudan’s Abubaker Kaki rounding off the top three with four where victory in Zurich will earn him eight points.

Also seeking to hold on to the Diamond League trophy as well as the $40,000 series jackpot cheque is Commonwealth and African women 3000m steeplechase champion, Milcah Chemos.

Unlike last season where she had just to start to be confirmed the winner, the fourth finisher at London can still be caught by Olympics bronze winner, Sofia Assefa who trails her with seven against the Kenyan’s 12 points should the Ethiopian beat Chemos to the line.

Tunisia’s London silver medallist, Habiba Ghribi is the other big name contender for top honours with the Kenyan contingent also featuring Commonwealth silver winner, Mercy Njoroge, World Youth champ, Hyvin Kiyeng and Lydia Chepkirui.

Uganda’s 2005 World gold winner, Dorcas Inzikuru is also in action in the women water and barriers Diamond League final.

Sizzling Mercy Cherono who wrapped up a brilliant victory over double world champion Vivian Cheruiyot over 3000m in Lausanne last week steps down the distance to the women 1500m in Zurich.

The loaded metric mile field also features the World junior champion, Faith Chepng’etich, Viola Kibiwott and Eunice Sum who failed to scale the heights at London Olympics.

Olympics bronze winner, Thomas Longosiwa will clash with London Team Kenya teammates in the shape of African champion, Edwin Soi, Isaiah Kiplangat Koech and Moses Masai in the star-studded men 5000m final.

American London 10,000m silver winner, Galen Rupp compatriot and former double world champion, Bernard Lagat and Ethiopia’s Tariku Bekele are also in the starting line-up.

Zurich will see the Diamond Race decided in 17 track and field events with the Brussels meet next week seeing the other 15 settled.