Nairobi, June 13 (IANS) World and Olympic 800 metre champion David Rudisha of Kenya has warned his rivals to expect a race of their lifetime in his third competitive meeting at the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on June 28.
Rudisha, who has competed selectively this season, will be making his third competitive race after Shanghai Diamond League and an invitational race in Kingston Jamaica, reports Xinhua news agency.
But he will push his spikes deep on the tartan as he seeks control of his specialty race in Ostrava, which is part of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Challenge. However, he will be competing at the rarely distance of 1,000m.
“I’m really looking forward to my race in Ostrava,” Rudisha said on Monday. “It will be my third race of the season but most interestingly for me it’s my first time to run 1,000 metres!”
Rudisha has run six of the eight fastest 800m times in history and for years looked almost invincible.
He started the season badly and for the second straight year, he finished outside the top three in Shanghai with young stud Kipyegon Bett handing him the beating.
But speaking in Nairobi, Rudisha said he believes he is in even better form than last year, when he glided away from the field to win his second Olympic gold in Rio in 1 minute 42.16 seconds — his fastest time since the London Olympics when he smashed his own world record (1:40.91).
“I have changed my training. I do a lot more mileage again,” said Rudisha. “It is an aspect I lacked since I injured my knee in 2013. I have always had pain whenever I make long runs. But it is gone now, I can now put more work in during training and I am really happy.”
The Olympic champion did not look overly impressive when he was beaten by the 19-year-old Kenyan sensation Kipyegon Bett in Shanghai last month.
In Jamaica, during Usain Bolt’s last race in Jamaica at the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston, Rudisha was passed on the inside just before the line by former World Youth champ Willy Tarbei, who edged him 1:44.86 to 1:44.90.
However, he explained that he had a minor strain, which has now cleared, and that his recent times in training over 400m and 300m — which he always uses a benchmark for how he will perform in competition — have surprised and delighted him.
“I am in a better form than last year and I feel fantastic. I just needed to do some fine and I think my season will be great,” he said.
But he is focused on winning his third World title after his 2011 (Daegu) and 2015 (Beijing) victories. He missed the 2013 Moscow world championships with a knee injury.