NAIROBI, April 2- An April 1 prank by Kenyan media has forced Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha to come out and reassure fans he is not hanging his spikes but relishing his return to competition in May.
The world record holder came out at his training camp in Iten to confirm he is eying a probable shot at the Doha Diamond League and chance to compete at the World Relays Championships in Bahamas in May in the 4x800m distance.
“I do not want to confirm if I will be running in a race tomorrow, but I would like to give an assurance I am back in training. My knee injury has healed, it is now important to regain my fitness in readiness for the international competitions and make my fans proud.”
“I too was surprised when I saw the article. Many were shocked to hear that too. And there was a lot response from friends and journalists around the world. I decided to switch off my phone. Days later I am still receiving texts from people who want to confirm from the main source,” said Rudisha.
His coach Colm O’connel, a local based Irish tactician credited with the development of several stars in the country, accompanied Rudisha during Wednesday training session in Iten.
O’Connell said Rudisha’s disappearance from the limelight after he injured his knee in New York while jogging, was prompted by the technical bench, who wanted him to get focused and spend time with family.
“Rudisha’s absence is down to our instruction. He has spent time with family and only go out to get treatment,” said O’Connell. “He had several therapeutic exercises within and outside Kenya as part of routine rehabilitation process.”
Rudisha who has another training camp in Germany, has been seeing a specialist in Dusseldorf after suffering the knee knock that ruled him out of a World Championships title defense in Moscow last summer as he prepared for the IAAF Diamond League meet in New York.
With Rudisha noncommittal, O’Connell said he is not in position to give deadlines on which will be Rudisha’s first race, but was emphatic; the former World Champion will be ready for the start of the season in Doha, Qatar on May 9.
“We don’t want to push him beyond the limit. We are also looking at his speed work but for now we are planning to have him participate in the local relay series,” said O’Connell.
If Rudisha competes in Nassau, Bahamas during the World Relay Championships, he will be following in the footstep of his father, Senior Daniel Rudisha, who is a winner of silver at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 in the 4x400m relays.