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SPORTS

David Rudisha confident of returning to best

SPORTS By Reuters | November 8th 2014 | 2 min read

Kenyan middle distance runner David Rudisha is confident of getting back to his best for the 2016 Rio Olympics after overcoming a knee injury.

Rudisha provided one of the unforgettable moments of the 2012 London Olympics when he broke the 800 metres world record to win gold.

He was forced to skip last year's world championships because of the slow-healing knee injury he sustained while running in New York's Central Park but is fully fit again and training with renewed optimism.

"I'm looking forward to Rio now, 2016. That is my main plan," the 25-year-old told reporters on Friday after beating a star-studded field to be named the outstanding male athlete at London 2012 at the inaugural Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) awards.

"But I'm also looking forward to next year, 2015 for the world championships. That's going to be a stepping stone to prepare for the Olympics."

Notoriously shy and humble, Rudisha was beaming after being presented with his award.

Sebastian Coe, a double Olympic 1,500 champion who went on to become chairman of the London organising committee, chatted with the Kenyan and accompanied him to the waiting media.

Rudisha is getting used to being in the spotlight although he tries his best to avoid it.

After winning in London, politicians wanted to be photographed with him, talk-show hosts wanted to interview him and promoters were dreaming up ways to get him and Usain Bolt to race each other.

In his African homeland, cattle were slaughtered in his honour, a tradition for his Maasai tribe, and he became an instant celebrity although he turned down the chance of making a quick buck to focus on his training under the guidance of famous Irish coach, Brother Colm O'Connell.

Rudisha's Australian manager James Templeton also travelled to the Thai capital for Friday's gala and said the award was just the boost his runner needed.

"Everything's going well now, he's back on track," Templeton said. "He was only 85 percent fit last year but he's 100 percent now."

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