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David Rudisha lays down marker in eldoret

ATHLETICS By Jonathan Komen | July 1st 2016
David Rudisha in action in the 800m semi-final yesterday at Kipchoge Keino Stadium. [PHOTO:DENNIS OKEYO]

Olympics 800m champion David Rudisha has a chance to show who is king when he takes on Ferguson Rotich after both booked slots in today’s finals.

Rudisha eased into the final in 1:43.4 at the Kipchoge Keino Stadium yesterday, with Rotich also winning in the other semi.

He looked confident as he summoned his powerful 100m kick – which he appears to have worked on after two losses to Ferguson Rotich in Shanghai and Stockholm Diamond League meetings.

He shot into the front from the gun, controlled the race in the final 100m and employed an electric kick to the finish line.

“I am impressed by the time at a high altitude region and let me prepare for the finals,” Rudisha said.

“It’s very important to make the team tomorrow then concentrate on preparations for the trials. Ferguson is running well and I hope both of us will be in the team to make the line-up strong,” he said.

Rotich won the second semi-final in 1:46.0 ahead of London Olympics 800m bronze medallist Timothy Kitum (1:46.02), Patrick Rono (1:46.06) and Eliud Kipng’etich (1:46.17).

Rotich said: “Today is hard because I believe Kenyan athletes are the best in this field. I ran in Diamond League but the competition here was tough. I am prepared for the finals,” Rotich said.

Meanwhile, it will be the old guard versus youngsters in men’s 3,000m steeplechase where two-time Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi, 2008 Olympic champion Brimin Kipruto, 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Paul Kipsiele Koech and London Olympic bronze medallist Abel Mutai take on two-time world 3,000m steeplechase silver medallist Conseslus Kipruto and 2015 IAAF Diamond League winner Jairus Kipchoge Birech.

World 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop will once again face world silver medallist Elijah Manangoi, 2011 world silver medallist Silas Kiplagat, Betwel Birgen and Collins Cheboi in today’s final.

Asbel and Faith Chepng’etich have posted good shows in Diamond League Meetings this season. Chepng’etich, Nancy Chepkwemoi, Viola Lagat and Selah Jepleting are in contention in the women race.

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