NAIROBI, July 29- Olympic champion and world record holder, David Rudisha cruised into the semi-finals of the men’s 800m after safely negotiating his heat at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday to remain on course for the only international honour he’s not won.
Kenya will have her trio of two-lap runners in Wednesday’s semis as hopes of replicating the podium sweep in Delhi remain alive after Ferguson Rotich and Evans Kipkorir joined Rudisha in qualifying.
The world record holder set the fastest qualifying time of 1:46.89 to underline his favourite status in the preliminary round.
“Today was all about qualifying for the second round tomorrow,” said Rudisha, whose staggering 800m run in just shy of 101 seconds was the stand-out performance on the track at the 2012 London Olympics.
“I tried to reserve as much energy as possible,” he said, adding: “I’m very happy to be here. I only started training in March. It’s been a tough year and I know I’m going to struggle, but my focus is next year.
“That said, this is not the Diamond League, this is a championship,” the Daegu 2011 Worlds and two-time Africa champion told AFP.
Rotich, a gold medal winner at the Bahamas World Relays for Kenya in March, finished second in Heat 3 with 1:48.70 on the clock while Kipkorir finished third in the next race in 1:50.88 behind Olympics silver winner from Botswana, Nijel Amos; another medal favourite.
Boaz Lalang led cousins Richard Kiplagat and Abraham Kiplagat to the clean sweep in Delhi with the three medallist not making Glasgow.
Former national champion, Florence Wasike crashed out of the women 400m Hurdles after finishing last in her heat in 52.29.
Earlier on the track adds Agence France Presse, the men’s 110m hurdles was blown wide open when England’s defending champion Andy Turner pulled up and Jamaica’s Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment was a non-starter.
Turner was off-kilter out of the blocks, clipped the first two hurdles and pulled up before stumbling into the third to bring a premature, and angry, end to his Games’ participation.
“I got too close to the first hurdle and hit the second one and that was it,” said Turner, also a world bronze medallist from Daegu in 2011.
“It was a schoolboy error. I’m gutted as I have been training well coming into the Games.”
With Parchment failing to even make it to the start line, the field has now been opened up, and Jamaica’s Andrew Riley, Barbadian 2009 world champion Ryan Brathwaite and England’s William Sharman will all fancy their chances in the final at Hampden Park later Tuesday.
Canada’s Damian Warner remained atop the decathlon as teammate and world silver medallist Brianne Thiesen-Eaton kicked off the heptathlon as massive favourite.
Warner, with an overnight score of 4378 points, raced the 110m hurdles in an impressive 13.50 seconds and managed a season’s best of 41.31m in the discus to sit on 6109pts with just the pole vault, javelin and 1500m to come.