NEW YORK, June 23- Olympic champions and record holder, David Rudisha, is raring to recapture some of the form that saw him blaze to an American All Comers record in the men 800 two-years ago at the Adidas New York Grand Prix on Saturday.
Then, ‘King David’ blasted to victory in 1:41.74 but after missing most of last season with a knee injury, one that first surfaced after he won this race 12 months ago in 1:45.14, the 25-year-old showed a few signs of rust in his 2014 opener, a seventh-place finish in 1:44.87 in Eugene.
He has set himself a modest target of dipping in the 1:43 zone as he paces his return to full fitness after his enforced leave from the track
After his 2014 debut in Eugene the 25-year-old returned to his European base in Tubingen, Germany, where he had some good long runs and two solid track sessions before returning to the US for this race.
“Before Eugene, I told my coach that I wanted to start racing and felt like I was capable of running 1:44, which I did and it showed me where I am at,” said Rudisha.
“I love this meet. This is where I ran my fastest American time. Probably tomorrow I am expecting to do 1:43, or better than that, because I want to move forward and take it step by step,” he told the IAAF.
Rudisha, who has been included in Kenya’s team for the Scotland Commonwealth Games is keen on winning the only major gold missing from his locker having bagged the African Junior, World Junior, African (twice), Worlds and the Olympics where he scorched the field in his 1:40.91 world record.
“I’m going to prepare for the Commonwealth Games like any other championship. The athletes treat it just the same as a Worlds Championships,” he said via Twitter.
Besides his two-lap speciality, he is also eyeing the lap-relay, a distance his father Daniel Rudisha won Olympics silver for Kenya in 1968.
“I would like to run the 4x400m in Glasgow. I’d also like to do a 1000m at some point too,” he added.
In the women’s 3000m, Worlds 5000m silver medallist, Mercy Cherono, the runner-up in Doha in a super-quick 8:21.14, is a clear favourite.
Others figuring to contend include Ethiopia’s Kalkidan Gezahegne and Olympics silver winner, Sally Kipyego, who is on the mend after twice suffering a broken Calcaneus bone in her left heel.
Also look for a classic East African battle in the women’s 3000m steeplechase, where Diamond Race leader Sofia Assefa, of Ethiopia, who won in Eugene in a world-leading 9:11.39 will face the furious Kenyan assault mounted by Purity Kirui, Lidya Chepkirui and Fancy Cherotich.