MELBOURNE, March 21- World record holder David Rudisha was pushed in the home straight by Australia’s Jeff Riseley before going on to win the 800 metres event at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge on Saturday.
The Kenyan won in one minute 44.94 seconds ahead of Riseley in a world championships qualifying time of 1:45.29.
“I knew Jeff was coming, but I wasn’t so worried,” Rudisha told reporters.
“I knew I was strong. It was a fast pace but I was strong through to the end.”
Riseley said he is yet to decide whether to focus primarily on the 800m or the 1500m this year.
“I just had to stay relaxed and hang in there and try and give (Rudisha) a crack,” the Australian said.
“He will go to a completely new level in three months’ time and it will be a completely different race.
“But I thought tonight was an opportunity to get him,” he added.
Olympic and world champion Sally Pearson won the 100m hurdles running into a difficult swirling wind.
Pearson won although her time of 12.93 seconds was half a second slower than she had expected to run.
“You can’t beat the conditions unfortunately,” Pearson said. “I should be half a second quicker today.”
“But as soon as I got over those hurdles (the wind) just threw me backwards.”
Australia’s world championships javelin silver medallist Kim Mickle suffered a rare defeat at home, although it took a huge throw of 66.62m by two-time Commonwealth champion Sunette Viljoen from South Africa to edge her into second place.
Mickle’s best throw of 66.57m was only 26 centimetres shy of her national record set at the corresponding meet last year.
Athletics: Melbourne IAAF World Track Challenge results
Melbourne, Australia | | Saturday 3/21/2015 – 09:03 GMT | 190 words
Selected results from the Melbourne IAAF World Track Challenge on Saturday (Australian unless stated):
100m: 1. Banuve Tabakaucoro (FIJ) 10.46, 2. Andrew McCabe 10.61, 3. Luke Stevens 10.78
200m: 1. Alonso Edward (PAN) 20.65, 2. Craig Burns 21.31, 3. Alexander Hartman 21.36
800m: 1. David Rudisha (KEN) 1:44.94, 2. Jeffrey Riseley 1:45.29, 3. Alex Rowe 1:47.11
5000m: 1. Brett Robinson 13:32.54, 2. Ben St Lawrence 13:33.16, 3. Jeff See (USA) 13:33.18
Discus: 1. Julian Wruck 61.16m, 2. Matthew Denny 56.65m, 3. Irfan Shamsuddin (MAS) 54.79m
100m: 1. Melissa Breen 11.52, 2. Ashleigh Whittaker 11.62, 3. Christine Wearne 11.99
100m hurdles: 1. Sally Pearson 12.93, 2. Michelle Jenneke 13.22, 3. Rochelle Coster (NZL) 13.78
1500m: 1. Zoe Buckman 4:12.57, 2. Angela Petty (NZL) 4:12.59, 3. Susan Kuijken (NED) 4:13.04
400m hurdles: 1. Lauren Wells 56.19, 2. Cassandra Tate (USA) 56.97, 3. Sara Klein 58.90
3000m steeplechase: 1. Madeline Heiner 9:31.03, 2. Magdalene Masai (KEN) 9:38.17, 3. Victoria Mitchell 9:39.78
Pole Vault: 1. Alana Boyd 4.50m, 2. Melissa Gergel (USA) 4.32m, 3. Jamie Scroop 4.20
Javelin: 1. Sunette Viljoen (RSA) 66.62m, 2. Kim Mickle 66.57m, 3. Lu Huihui (CHN) 64.59m