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TIME TICKING AWAY: Rudisha seeks redemption at Beijing World Championships

ATHLETICS By Chris Musumba | August 11th 2015
World Record Holder David Rudisha competes in 800m semi-final race during the National Trials Championship at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani on July 31, 2015.PHOTO/DENNIS OKEYO

Olympic champion David Rudisha will take no prisoners as he makes another attempt to quell mutiny in his 800m fortress at the World Championships, which start in Beijing on August 22.

Rudisha, 26, conceded he has a bigger problem of rectifying his running tactics in order to have a strong finishing kick at the Championships. However, with only two weeks of training left, time is ticking away for the World Record holder (1:40.91) as he puts up his final touches on his preparation.

“We can see a smile even after tough track session. I have to work seriously on my final 50 metres because it is where I lose out. But I’m happy with my progression since returning from injury,” said Rudisha.

Indeed on paper, Rudisha (pictured) will be the athlete to beat in the Kenya team. The only active runner to have run under 1:41, but that will count for nothing as he comes up against his perennial rival and Commonwealth Games champion Nijel Amos of Botswana and Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia. But that has not stopped Rudisha from reflecting on his past performance when he was at top form.

He tweeted: “Three years ago today (August 8), I broke the 800m World Record, ran a sub 1:41 and won Gold in the London 2012 Olympics.”

Will he be able to repeat the same performance in Beijing as he makes a comeback to a city that provided him with his first win as an elementary athlete back in 2006 at the World Junior Championships?

 

DIFFERENT ATHLETE

“Rudisha is coming on very well and you might be seeing a different athlete in Beijing. It was hard for him at the trials to lose to Ferguson Rotich, but he has accepted it and embraced team work. He is moved on already and focusing on Beijing task,” said Julius Kirwa, Kenya team head coach. But Kirwa is fretting on building a strong team work. With the team anchored by Rudisha, he must help convince the other two athletes Ferguson Rotich and Alfred Kipketer.
“We have to see them train together as a team and focus on the championships as such and not rivals. They have got it and they are working on it.

“But alongside Rudisha, the other athletes are suffering from stage fright at the highest level of competition and we have to help them get over it so that they can easily go through the qualification and preliminary levels to the finals,” said Kirwa.

The team is due to depart for Beijing on Monday and Kirwa is optimistic his 800m team will be able to weather the storm and dominate the race.

“The athletes need to realise the trials are over and the world championships is what will determine if their top form this season was a fluke or a performance they can sustain over a long period of time,” he said.

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