Athletics Athletics

Unfit Rudisha to skip trials to focus on title defence

Kenya’s David Rudisha (C) leads the field in the men’s 800m heats at the Rio Olympics on August 12, 2016

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 21- World-record holder and Beijing 2015 men’s 800m world champion, David Rudisha has confirmed he will skip this weekend’s national trials for the London 2017 global track and field showpiece in August.

The two-time Olympic and world champion who holds the 1:40.91 world record over the distance, announced he was not in good shape to start at the local meet where Kenya will select its team for the Aug. 4 to 12 London Worlds.

“Unfortunately I’m not fit enough for the trials. The two races I have competed this season have shown there is work to be done. I always want to give my fans the best,” Rudisha told local media on Wednesday.

“I believe with sufficient rest and I will be in good shape to defend my title in two months time,” the middle distance star runner added.

The 28-year-old skipped the Moscow 2013 Worlds due to injury, missing the chance to defend the crown he first won at the 2011 edition in Daegu, South Korea.

He reclaimed the two-lap title at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China where he ran 1:45.84 in the final to return to the throne of 800m running.

Rudisha then successfully held on to his Olympic crown at the Rio Games in August last year where he blasted to 1:42.15 in what was the second-fastest winning time ever at the event following his world record performance at London 2012.

His decision to skip the trials was taken after consultations with his doctor, coach and manager, he added.

This season, Rudisha has ran 1:45.36 for fourth at the May 13 IAAF Diamond League opener in Shanghai, China before clocking 1:44.90 for second on Jun. 10 in Kingston, Jamaica.

-By Xinhua-