Athletics Athletics

‘I’m not done yet’, Rudisha affirms


NAIROBI, Kenya, September 19- Olympic champion and world record holder, David Rudisha, reckons it could take a lifetime for the 800m final at London 2012 where he cemented his legendary status to be replicated.

In one of the most celebrated individual track performances of the 30th Olympics, Rudisha motored from the front to hammer his own previous 1:41.01 world record when he arrived at the finish in 1:40.91 to shatter all barriers in his cherished event.

“It is very difficult I guarantee. For that to happen again, it has to include everybody in the race, five people ran under 1:43 and all of us ran under 1:44. I don’t think something like that is going to happen soon, I can guarantee that.

“Everybody in that race was fit on that day and it is very difficult to get everyone in that form,” the world champion stressed after receiving Sh2m for his jaw-dropping record breaking act that shook the London Olympics stadium and the watching world.

Just as a re-cap, this is how the eight finalists finished the epic Olympics medal race that immediately occupied its place ahead of any other in men 800m running legend.

Rudisha (1:40.91/WR), Nijel Amos (Botswana, 1:41.73/NR/WJR), Timothy Kitum (Kenya, 1:42.53/NJR), Duane Solomon (USA/1:42.82), Nick Symmonds (USA/1:42.95), Mohamed Aman (Ethiopia/1:43.20/NR/NJR), Abubaker Kaki (Sudan/1:43.32) and Andrew Osagie (Britain/1:43.77) where everyone bar Kaki were rewarded with lifetime bests.

“It was the greatest ever performance in 800m. It was a tremendous fast race and everybody contributed to that. Nothing has ever happened before like that, I congratulated all of them for making the day successful,” Rudisha remarked.

“I felt I was in good shape and looking at the finalists at the Olympics, only one had run under 1:42. I knew in most of my races I pull them to run their personal best times because I control from the front.

“I told him (Kitum) I’m afraid that I will not run my personal best because that meant I was to do the world record but for them to run 1:42 would have been easier because if I do 1:41, they could do that,” the first seven-time sub 1:42 athlete in history explained how he plotted the master class in two-lap running at the grandest stage of all in London.

“I advised him to run his own race because I told him I would push the race hard since I wanted to get 1:41 and some of the athletes would follow me and they would get tired in the last 100m,” he divulged how he set up his 18-year-old compatriot to earn bronze at his maiden Olympics.

“I don’t know how that race went to date. Before we ran the final, Rudisha told me he thought everyone apart from him would run a personal best since his was way higher than all of us.

“I asked him whether this was even possible but when the race finished, everyone had run his personal best,” Kitum who bid his time before putting together a flying finish for the third medal on the homestretch confirmed.

“We teamed up with Rudisha and he confided to me that he would go out so fast in the first lap so I should not follow him. I waited for my chance to go and I was rewarded with the bronze medal since I was not as tired as those who went after him,” the Commonwealth Youth titleholder who deserves all the plaudits for his well executed finish added.

“I want to reduce the number of races I compete next year, just like he does since we have the World Championships coming up. He is an inspiration,” Kitum who won the third medal at the World Youth championships said of his hero.

It was yet another rewarding season for the athlete now known as ‘King David’ back at home after he bagged the biggest crown of all with a crowning display to match.

“I was only remaining with the very important championship that is the Olympics and I’m very happy to have achieved that this year. Breaking the world record and becoming the first man to run under 1:41 leaves me with nothing else but to say it has been a wonderful year for me.”

As for those who fathom the idea that reaching the apex of his sport at only 23 will slow the Masai Moran, Rudisha offered this to them.

“That is not the end because we have people who have won the Olympics and World Championships twice or more. I think that is the next thing I should go for, be motivated and win more races in future.”

Since 2006 when he announced his arrival at the global stage with a fluid victory at the Beijing World Juniors, he has blossomed to be his country’s marquee sportsperson with his celebrity status attaining heights accorded to politicians and pop stars.

Interest in the lanky well-built athlete in his home nation and indeed the world has skyrocketed with everyone from ordinary persons to the captains of industry keen to have a piece of the Ol-Tanki Village, Transmara County born son of Daniel Rudisha who was part of the 1968 Olympics silver winning Kenyan 4X400m relay quartet.

“It is just a matter of finding the balance because all this fame and attention comes. We need to fit in, sit down and plan because some things come in the middle of your career and you cannot ignore them.

“You just have to handle them in a good way and manage them well,” the record holder who was accompanied by his spouse Lizzy Naanyu to the Safaricom award ceremony affirmed.