David Rudisha is game for the Games
The Kenyan runner's main priority is winning the 800m title in London but he admits facing Usain Bolt 'would be fun'.
Last Modified: 09 May 2012 17:40
Rudisha smiles on the podium after winning 800m gold at 2011 World Championships in Daegu [GALLO/GETTY]

Kenyan 800m star David Rudisha on Wednesday chuckled at the fantastical thought of running the final leg of the men's 4x400m relay at the London Games against double Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt.

Rudisha, the world 800m champion and also the world record holder, is one of Kenya's main Olympic gold medal hopes, but has admitted he could run in the relay should the squad advance in the British capital this summer.

The chances of Bolt adding the 4x400m to his already-charged programme of the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay is highly unlikely, although the Jamaican did say back in November that he would be available if he got the call-up.

But Rudisha allowed himself a brief moment of fantasy before thoughts turned to setting his standard at Friday's opening Diamond League meeting here.

"It would be great seeing two world record holders in different events competing. That would be our meet point because I'd come down to 400m and he would go up from the 100m and 200m"

David Rushida

"It would be good, you know!" he said, laughing.

"People have been saying for some time that it would be a very interesting race, having Usain and me doing the last leg together.

"It would be great seeing two world record holders in different events competing. That would be our meet point because I'd come down to 400m and he would go up from the 100m and 200m.

"So we'd meet in the middle, it'd be great, a very interesting race."

And who would emerge victorious? Rudisha avoided a direct answer with the alacrity of a well-oiled politician, instead focusing on the potential merits of the "spectacle".

"Usain Bolt is fast, he has speed. I don't have that speed. I have a little bit of speed and my 'race'. It would fun and enjoyable to watch for the fans," the towering 23-year-old said.

Rudisha, whose father won 4x400m relay silver at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, added: "Usain Bolt is a great athlete, and the greatest sprinter ever seen.

"We love him like our brother, and whenever we see him, he's doing such a great job... in promoting our sport to a higher standard.

"We talk as friends, exchange a few words. We don't really talk about training because he's a sprinter and I'm an 800m runner."

Aman to fear

Rudisha does not, however, face an easy outing on Friday at the Qatar Sports Club, notably up against Ethiopian youngster Mohamed Aman, who handed the Kenyan his first 800m loss for two years in Milan at the end of last summer.

Aman has since gone on to claim gold against a strong line-up at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul in March, and Rudisha admitted that he had his eye on the Ethiopian.

   There is an outside possibility Rushida will face Usain Bolt (pictured) at the Olympics in the relay [GALLO/GETTY]

"Aman is a young boy, good, talented, we saw him in the world indoors. He's a good man and he's working hard," he said.

"It's good for me to have people like him because it's good to get that challenge and he gives good competition which is so healthy for us, gives us quality races and allows us to compete at the top of our abilities."

Rudisha added that he was aiming to put in a time quicker than his sole 800m outing this season, 1min 44.30sec set in Melbourne in March.

"It's my first race in preparation for the big event of the year," he said of his outlook on Doha.

"In 2010, I was really preparing for fast races and breaking the world record, which was a little different coming into 2011 which was a championships year. This year is an Olympic year and that is my main focus, my priority.

"To win the Olympics is important and that is what I'm so far missing.

"Preparation so far has been good," he said, adding that after the Olympics, "I'll see if I still have something left to do something special".

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