Nairobi, June 10 (IANS) Kenya’s Olympic champion David Rudisha is oozing confidence ahead of his second Diamond League 800 metres race in Stockholm on June 16.
Rudisha, who holds the Olympic and world 800m record at 1:40.91 minute, last competed in the two-lap race in Shanghai in May and was a distant fifth. His other performance in the distance was in Melbourne in March, reports Xinhua.
“I believe my body is back to its best form and I can challenge for medals. My training has been better and my body is coming back to its best years,” said Rudisha in a telephone interview on Friday.
Critics had written off Rudisha’s prospects of defending his title in the Rio Olympics when he finished fifth in Shanghai, but after his performance in Birmingham a week ago, there is every possibility that their assessment might have been too soon and too harsh.
Rudisha said: “A New Diamond League record, world lead, and Africa record over 600 metres time 1:13.10 seconds in Birmingham are the best show for my road to Rio progression.”
In Stockholm, Rudisha will come up against Ethiopia’s world indoor champion Mohammed Aman, Olympic bronze medallist Timothy Kitum, Ferguson Rotich of Kenya, Adam Kszczot of Poland and Bosse Pierre-Ambroise of France.
With the injuries that followed his remarkable Olympic win and world record in London 2012 now well behind him, Rudisha is looking forward to a return to his best this season and Stockholm might just be a pointer to what to expect at the Rio Olympics.