800-metre champ Rudisha exudes confidence, ready for London

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Nairobi, July 28 (IANS) Five years ago, David Rudisha of Kenya arrived in London with hopes of delivering something special at the Olympic Games. He left not only with a gold medal but also a world record which he savours to date.

The 28-year-old Rudisha on Monday will be among the first batch of Kenyan athletes heading to London for the World Championships and he hopes he will be able to weather the storm from a group of upcoming runners to retain his title, reports Xinhua news agency.

To his critics, Rudisha’s star has dimmed with time and he is not the mercurial athlete that he was five years ago when he cruised to a world record time of 1:40.91 in the men’s 800 metres.

But a focused Rudisha has remained adamant saying he is satisfied with his final preparations for the World Championships.

This will be Rudisha’s fourth appearance this season having lost in all the previous three appearances in Shanghai (China), Kingstone (Jamaica) and Ostrava (Czech Republic)

“My preparations are going on well. I’m happy with the training. I have been working on endurance, speed and some good track sessions just to make sure that I have everything balanced. There should be no fear about my preparedness,” he said.

Indeed in 2015 at the Beijing World Championships, Rudisha had a very poor record coming to the competition. He had just recovered from a knee injury, which required surgery to rectify and had no strength to speed in the final straight. But he held his nerves and demolished his competitors to win the championships.

Kenya’s men’s 800 metre team will have Rudisha riding on wild card selection as Olympic and world champion, US-based Emmanuel Korir, Kipyegon Bett and Ferguson Rotich.

“I have a history that people tend to forget fast. Ever since I got injured in 2013 I have slowed down. Like last year I was in that kind of a form, just peaking, getting to the top slowly and now it’s about making sure that by August I’m in my top form,” Rudisha said.

“There is no need to panic. In my problems, I always have a way to find a solution. I will bounce back,” he added.

–IANS

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