NEWCASTLE, United Kingdom, Sep 11 – Double Olympic champion David Rudisha had one of his great performances as he ended his season by obliterating the 500m world record at the North CityGames on Saturday.
The distance of 500m isn’t one raced all that often but the world 800m record-holder proved he is the master over that too as he set a new time of 57.69.
On a sunny afternoon at the Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside, the Kenyan used the speed which has seen him clock 45.50 for 400m and 73.10 for 600m in the past to run the world’s quickest ever time of 57.69 as he beat Ireland’s European indoor 800m silver medallist Mark English, who won this event last year, with 57.91 and Britain’s European 400m champion Martyn Rooney with 59.02.
Rudisha retained his Olympic title in a time of 1:42.15 in Rio and in Gateshead he returned to the track, albeit for only half of his race.
With the 500m event taking runners from the road on to Mondo, Rudisha later explained how it had been the first time he had ever raced while not wearing spikes.
“It’s awesome to run in such an event where people are close and supportive,” said Rudisha. “To have a CityGames in the middle of the city I think is one of the greatest ideas. It’s unique because it’s not what you see every day.
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“I don’t think there’s a better way to finish a season that run here. There’s of course less pressure – it’s not an 800m. I started my career in 400s and 200s so I have that speed. Running something less than 800m, from 400m upwards, is my favourite distance.”
On his winning tactics, he added: “I knew they were going to push the first 300m so I knew I needed to be right there with them and use my advantage [from running 800m] in the final 150m.
“Rooney took off and I was right behind him. Just around 180m to go I decided to charge.
“It was quite tactical. That’s why I decided to let one of the fastest 400m guys lead. I didn’t want to let the gap widen up so I left it there.”