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Recovered Rudisha targets Doha DL return

RUDISHA-DOHA-PIXNAIROBI, Kenya, December 18- Olympic 800m champion and world record holder, David Rudisha will not rush back into competition until his knee injury, which has kept him out for six months now, is completely healed.

Speaking in Eldoret, Rudisha, who has already started light training, confirmed that he will not be returning to Australia, where he has made a norm to start his season, but instead will remain at home to see how the knee injury responds to different reactions and trainings.

“I will not be going to Australia. It has been where I have always started my season, a place where I intensified my training and tested the body in competition.”

“But I have been out of competition since June when I pulled my muscles and got a knee injury in New York while training. It means I have to take it slowly, one day at a time and see how it will react,” Rudisha said on Wednesday.

During the six-month period that he has been out, Rudisha has had time to rest with the family and support his wife in taking care of their daughter as she goes on with her studies at Moi University in Eldoret.

“Maybe we will have another child in 2014. That is certainly in the pipeline now that she is clearing her studies. But I have also to work hard to get my body back to form ahead of the next season,” said the two-lap phenomenon.

The World Record holder (1:40.09) said he has had shuttle trips to Australia, Germany and back home in his rehabilitation programme and is happy it has ended well and he can train without much pain.

However, he said it is still a delicate issue that must be handled carefully as he pushes his body back to its top form that saw him break the world record three times and post the best ever times in the two-lap distance.

Rudisha said that with Australia meetings — in Melbourne, where he runs 400m and Sydney (800m) — out of his programme, he is looking at Doha Diamond league in May as the first serious competitive event for him.

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“I want to give myself enough time to heal, to pick up the momentum and see that I run at my optimum best. I still have a long way to go and with time and good care, I am certain to get there,” he said.

In Rudisha’s absence, Ethiopia’s Aman Mohammed, the only man to have beaten Rudisha twice, stamped his authority to win the World Championships in Moscow, to add to his gold medal at the World Indoor and bronze at the World Junior.

But that will not be prompting Rudisha to try his feet on the indoor circuit.

“I have no plans to run in the indoor races. The focus is to run outdoor and Doha looks a good bet, I will be in my best form and able to show my fans what I really can do. I miss running, it is my life, my career and my hobby,” he said.

Rudisha however, expressed his frustration over the failure by Kenya to get an athlete to stand in for him at the World Championships in Moscow.

For the first time in over 15 years, Kenya found itself locked out of the finals of the World Championships in the two-lap race when Africa silver medallist Anthony Chemut, Ferguson Rotich and Jeremiah Mutai failed to make the finals.

“These athletes are promising. They lack experience, but for a moment, they underrated the opposition. Every race is run differently and they need to focus and treat each rival as an equal,” Rudisha’s coach Colm O’Connell said.

Though Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat has come out to defend the country selection, the realization that there was nobody to challenge eventual winner Aman in the finals is leaving many asking question on what went wrong.

“It is absurd that after my injury, there was nobody serious to take over. I also realised that Olympic bronze medallist Timothy Kitum was also injured and could not get a wild card to the team. But we need a wider pool of talented athletes to draw from. It is not right to depend on just a few, we have talent everywhere,” said Rudisha.

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On the thorny subject of doping allegations against Kenyan runners, Rudisha said it was wrong for the world to portray the country’s athletes as cheats.

“It is sad, and the faster they tackle this problem the better. It is wrong to think all elite Kenyan runners are cheats. We train hard to achieve what we have on the global stage. But of course there are some athletes who will want a short cut.”

“They are maybe forced to do it by others inspired by greed to reap where they have not sowed. Sport is a noble profession and should be respected because it brings all types of people together. We should not soil it with use of drugs and banned substances to boost our performances. Doing that will be killing sports,” said Rudisha.

Kenya named Professor Moni Wekesa to lead the 12-member committee to table a report on the infamous doping allegations that was brought to the fore by Germany TV.

A year ago, the World Anti-Doping Agency asked Kenya to investigate doping cases after an undercover German television journalist reported that the blood-boosting drug EPO and other doping products were readily available to local athletes.

Moni Wekesa team will also investigate the involvement of person or persons in the administration or the supply of drugs to the athletes and assess the true extent of doping and the availability of banned substances.

Since January 2012, increased doping tests have netted 17 Kenyan cheats.

“The irony of the matter is that most of those caught are average athletes trying to carve a niche in athletics. Most top athletes are clean, they are tested regularly. But it is a wake-up call.”
“I have broken the 800m record severally without any influence. I have to tell the upcoming athletes that they need to be patient, put a lot in training and wait for the result. Whatever the outcome they should be satisfied by it,” the Olympics crown holder stated.

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