Rudisha tipped to hit heights in athletic worlds

Nairobi, June 14 (IANS) After an uneasy two-week wait, Kenyan men’s 800m superstar David Rudisha returned to winning ways at Saturday’s New York meet of the IAAF Diamond League to reignite hope in his camp that he can challenge for the world title at the summer Beijing IAAF World Championships.

His coach, brother Colm O’Connell, however, on Sunday advised caution as the Olympic champion and world record holder returns home for training ahead of his next scheduled race on July 9 at the Lausanne IAAF Diamond League meeting, reports Xinhua.

“The weather was good for him, although it was quite windy and he had to fight a strong headwind at the last 100m which made him work harder. A win is a win and he ran a good solid time and he looked reasonably good,” the coach said on Sunday.

“He will have good training ahead of Lausanne, but it was big relief particularly for Kenyans after an anxious two weeks,” he added.

Kenya was thrown into fear a fortnight ago when the London Olympic gold medallist and 1:40.91 minute record holder over two-laps pulled out of the Ostrava Golden Spike 100m into the rarely run 600m contest.

It was another setback on his journey back from serious knee injury that saw him miss a title defence at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.

The 26-year-old remains undefeated over 800m at the Grand Prix after notching his fourth victory in as many appearances.

Rudisha, who won the world title at the 2011 worlds in Daegu, South Korea, had set two targets for Saturday, dipping in the 1:43 minute territory and dropping a world lead.

The pacemaker carried him through the first lap in 50.10 seconds before he surged ahead of the competition in a comfortable enough position not to go all out in the closing stages and ended up winning in 1:43.58 minute, just 0.02 slower than Mohammed Aman’s world-leading time of the season.

“I was cautious today. I started easier and I didn’t push too hard in the end,” said the Olympic champion. “Now it’s time to go back to Kenya for two more weeks of training.”

His coach added: “He is yet to perfect his last 100m, and it was evident in the races he lost last year. It will be a test against fast finishers and he has the time to work on that.”

 

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