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Organisers confirm Rudisha Doha date

RUDISHA-FISTPARIS, April 7- Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha will return after nearly a year out injured at the Diamond League meet in Doha on May 9, organisers said on Monday.

The 25-year-old Kenyan world record holder twisted his knee in training in New York last May, and could not defend his title at last year’s world championships in Moscow.

It will the sixth time he has competed in the Qatar event which is the first in the 14-leg Diamond League calendar this season.

“Of course I was injured last season,” said the 25-year-old Kenyan, who won in Doha last year for the fourth time. “That was disappointing but I’ve worked hard to get fit and healthy again and I am looking forward to running the 800m in Doha.”

Rudisha, who produced one of the finest moments in Olympic history with his spectacular 1:40.91 world record run in London, has been a familiar fixture in Doha since his first appearance in 2007.

That year, as a junior, he finished sixth, but returned the following year to claim his first victory in 1:44.36. He was fourth in 2009 but bounced back with solid victories in 2010 and 2012, clocking 1:43.00 and 1:43.10 respectively, both early season world-leading marks.

“I am very happy to be coming back to Doha. It’s a meet that has always had good races and been a good start to my season,” Rudisha said.

“This is a year without a major championship so I have time to progress and get back to my best. I hope to run in Glasgow at the Commonwealth Games however before that I am pleased to be back running in the Diamond League meetings.”

“We are really looking forward to welcoming back David Rudisha for the second time after his historical performance at the London Olympics,” said Qatar Athletics Federation secretary general Mohamed Al-Kuwari.

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“He truly is one of the best athletes in the world, already a legend of his event. Like many other athletics fans, we will be very interested to see him back in competition after he missed most of last season due to injury.”

Leading the charge against the Kenyan will be Nijel Amos of Botswana who finished second to Rudisha in London, clocking a world junior record of 1:41.73, while Qatar will be well represented by national record-holder Abdulrahman Musaeb Bala (1:43.93), the 2013 Asian champion.

Andrew Osagie, another London 2012 finalist, will also be in the field on the heels of his second successive world indoor bronze medal-winning run.

Organisers also confirmed a high jump duel between Russian Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov and local hope Mutaz Essa Barshim, the London Games bronze medallist.

Ukhov edged closer to Cuban Javier Sotomayor’s world record 2.45m mark, with the Russian jumping 2.42m indoors this winter.

All eyes will be on Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba, who broke the world indoor records over 1500m and 3000m in February.

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