Rudisha begins Olympic preparations

Kenya’s 800 metres world record holder David Rudisha begins the chase for that elusive Olympic title.

David Rudisha
Rudisha will run three races before the London Games, starting with the Diamond League next month [GETTY]

Kenyan track star David Rudisha is aiming to add Olympic gold to his world 800m title from Daegu, with three Diamond League outings likely before the London Games, starting in Doha next month.

“I feel good and my preparations are going well,” said the 23-year-old, who twice lowered the world record in the two-lap event for a best of 1min 41.01sec in 2010.

Rudisha is also seeking to bag a third consecutive Diamond Trophy after starring on the Diamond League circuit over the last two seasons, and says competing at such a high level of competition was essential for him ahead of the Olympics.

London hopes

“It is a great thing to win the Diamond League since it shows your persistence to compete throughout a season,” he said in an IAAF conference call on Wednesday.

“Racing in the Diamond League is part of my preparations this year, just like in the other years; racing in the Diamond League was part of my preparations for breaking the world record (in 2010) and for the World Championships last year.”

Rudisha suffered the heartbreak of not making the 2008 Beijing Olympics after picking up an injury and acknowledged that he still had to negotiate the notoriously tough Kenyan Olympic trials to get a ticket to London.

“This will be my first Olympics although of course I still have to get through the Kenyan trials.

“I have always been having that dream that I can go to the Olympics and I have the dream of hearing the Kenyan national anthem as I stand on the podium.

“It would be a great feeling because winning at the Olympics is no small achievement. It’s what I have always wished for.”

Turning his sights to potential rivals this season, Rudisha admitted that “there will be a lot of good guys, many Kenyans”.

“I also know (Sudan’s) Abubaker Kaki will be there but I don’t know if he will run the 800m or 1500m. However, I don’t think about one particular person or another. I train to be ready to handle any situation.”

Young rival

The runner everyone else is thinking about, however, is Ethiopian youngster Mohamed Aman, who handed Rudisha 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 last month.

“I know he’ll be coming back and having a lot of hope but maybe the defeat in Milan was a good thing for me as well, it triggered me to do better,” said Rudisha.

“Of course, I was disappointed to lose that race but I can see how it has made me stronger.”

Rudisha added that this year was “the right time” for him to also run in the 4x400m relay at the Olympics, an event in which his father won silver at the 1968 Mexico City Games.

“In fact there were plans for me to run in the relay in Berlin (at the 2009 World Championships), maybe in the heats,” he said.

“This might be the right time as it comes after my speciality. I have the flexibility now, I think I can do it.

“I want to bring home a medal so that we can have two medals in our house.”

Source: AFP