Athletics: 'Excited' Rudisha ready to rock London again
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[July 29, 2017]
By Isaack Omulo
NAIROBI (Reuters) - David Rudisha can't
wait to get back to the stadium where he ran a world record time
five years ago and is confident he can maintain his dominance of the
800 meters at the world championships in London next week.
The 28-year-old Kenyan still holds the two-lap world record with the
one minute 40.91 seconds he ran for his first Olympic gold, when he
lit up a packed East London stadium on a balmy August night in 2012.
"I am really excited to return to London," Rudisha told Reuters at
Team Kenya's training camp in the capital over the weekend.
"London is a special place for me. Breaking the world record in 2012
and winning that title, remains one of the greatest moments in my
"I am really looking forward to returning to the same stadium, and
especially this time to defend my title."
While Rudisha successfully defended his Olympic crown with a
devastating last-lap sprint in Rio last year, injury prevented him
from going back-to-back in 2013 after he won his first world
championship gold at Daegu in 2011.
Victory in a tactical race in Beijing won him back the world title
in 2015, however, and he returns to London looking to secure his
legacy by matching the great Wilson Kipketer as a three-times
"Being world champions makes us the people to beat. We are feeling
that pressure, yes, but we are ready to soak it and remain on top of
the world," he said.
"Winning a third world title is going to be amazing.
It is always important for an athlete to win major championship
titles and this is what I am actually looking forward to.
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David Lekuta Rudisha (KEN) of Kenya celebrates after winning the
gold medal. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
"It is also very important for my career because the world want to
see how this champion can defend his title and how long he will stay
at the top of their game."
Rudisha's times this year in his few outings have been modest
compared to the likes of compatriot Emmanuel Korir and Botwana's
The same was true before Rio, however, and while he is conscious of
the competition he will face at the world championships, Rudisha
backs himself as a big race performer.
"There are upcoming athletes, but we are also happy to see the elite
athletes still progressing and challenging and giving stiff
competition to the younger lot," he said.
"I can't underrate anyone. When it comes to championships, we have
seen athletes in their best form being beaten."
(Editing by George Obulutsa and Nick Mulvenney)
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