Athletics Athletics

Rudisha opens 2015 in impressive 1:45.01


RUDISHA-GLAGGOWSYDNEY, March 14- London 2012 Oympic Games 800m champion and world record holder David Rudisha opened his 2015 season with an impressive 1:45.01 win at the Sydney Track Classic on Saturday night.

Rudisha strode powerfully away from Alex Rowe over the final 200 metres after the Australian had desperately tried to cling to his heels in the hope of being dragged to a national record.

Instead, Rowe had to dig deep to hold off New Zealand’s Brad Mathas, the pair clocking 1:47.38 to 1:47.39 respectively.

The Kenyan world record holder’s fourth visit to Australia is the past six years brought his slowest winning time over two laps during that time, but he had warned before the race that he was not as advanced in his preparations as in his earlier visits.

Nor did he run a 400m race as a lead-in, which he has done ahead of his other three visits Down Under.

Consequently, it was no surprise when Rudisha’s preferred pacemaker, Sammy Tangui, went through 400m in a tick under 51 seconds rather than his customary 49-point something. Rudisha was a couple of strides back in around 51.5 with Rowe on his heels.

Rudisha said he was happy with his run, considering the limited amount of specific preparation he has had. In his absence through injury.

The aim for this year is simple, to return to the top of the pile over 800m.

Rudisha will clash again with Rowe, as well as Jeff Riseley and last year’s national champion Joshua Ralph, at next Saturday’s Melbourne World Challenge meeting, the opening leg of the 2015 IAAF World Challenge.

-Bounce back-

The world record holder is hoping to bounce back to the top of the 800m running after being led to Commonwealth Games silver by Botswana’s Nijel Amos, the Olympics silver medallist in his first major international competition since returning from knee injury last May.

Rudisha is eyeing reclaiming the world title he won in Daegu, South Korea in 2011 he vacated after the injury in June 2013 ruled him out of the Moscow Worlds where another of his archrivals, Ethiopian Mohammed Aman, occupied his throne.

Speaking before his Australian tour, Rudisha who ruled out competing in 400m abroad had targeted a high 1:44 to start a campaign he is solely focused on the summer Beijing global track and field showpiece.

-Additional reporting by Mutwiri Mutuota