BY OMULO OKOTH
"I was running conservatively not to burn out because Rudisha had warned that he was going to run a very fast pace in the first lap. I was told to cross in 50 seconds and remain in fourth or third position. That is why you saw me beginning to kick with 300 metres to finish," said a beaming Kitum, who won bronze in his first Olympic Games, less than one month after winning silver in the World Junior Championships in Barcelona.
"When I came to this Olympics, I did not expect I would reach the final. I had anticipated a semi-final place, but when I qualifyed for the final, it gave me the impetus of going a step further and finishing in a medal bracket," said Kitum.
Team Kenya Media Liaison confirmed that Kitum was told not to follow Rudisha because doing so would have been suicidal.
It took Rudisha a whole hour to celebrate the first world record in this London Olympic Park Stadium and the first Olympic world record. It was also the first world record by a Kenyan at the Olympics.
The world record and victory was Kenya's second gold medal here after steeplechaser Ezekiel Kemboi's last Sunday.
It came only minutes after Kenya's Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo and Janeth Jepkosgei made it to the 800m final. Cherono Koech was not as lucky as she finished fifth in the third and last semi-final.
Jelimo led from beginning to finish and won in 1:59.42 ahead of Russia's Ekaterina Poistogova's 1:59.45.
Jepkosgei was third in 1:58.26 behind Caster Semenya of South Africa (1:57.67) and Russia's Elena Arzhakova (1:58.13).
"I ran a tactical race again knowing what is coming ahead. I am still strong and hope for the best," said Jelimo. Janeth said she did not use all her energy because of the final. I am happy to make another final, my fifth year at the top level," said Jepkosgei, who won silver behind Jelimo in Beijing.