Rudisha not after world record

David Rudisha celebrates after winning the 800m gold medal at the last Senior Africa Athletics Championships in Addis Ababa in 2008. Rudisha will be defending his title in Nairobi in two weeks.

David Rudisha, the Africa 800m record holder, will not go after the world record when he competes at the Senior Africa Athletics Championship in Nairobi from July 28.

Rudisha is basking in the glory of his record breaking run in Belgium where he set a phenomenal world fastest time of 1:41.51 to become the second fastest man ever since Wilson Kipketer (Denmark) broke the World record (1:41.11) on two occasions in 1997.

“I wanted to maintain the 1:42 time, but then running 1:41 is too good. It was just natural, I did nothing special to run that fast and I was impressed.

“I never set my mind on the world record and will certainly not be thinking of it when I run at the Africa championship. But maybe after that when I return to Europe, then it is a possibility,” he said.

Missed Olympics

Rudisha missed the Beijing Olympics with an injury and the World Championships in Berlin last year where he failed to qualify for the final.

The African championships at home therefore provide a chance for the 21 year old to set records straight when he takes on World Champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi of South Africa, Sudan’s Abubakar Kaki and compatriot Alfred Kirwa.

Rudisha, a son of former Olympic silver medallist Daniel Rudisha, had become the fastest 800m runner in the world last season when he set a personal best of 1:42.01 in Rieti, Italy in 2009.

His 1:42.04 run in Oslo in June was already the world leading mark of 2010, which was enough to break Sebastian Coe’s 1:42.33 meet record of 31 years.

“I am now heading to Eldoret to rest and when I return on Sunday, I will be ready to concentrate on the preparation for the championship. It will be hard as pressure will be on us to win,” said Rudisha.

Kenya sought to improve on performance at the last championships in Addis Ababa where the team won 16 medals – five gold, five silver and six bronze – that saw it finish fourth in Addis Ababa in 2008 behind South Africa, Nigeria and host Ethiopia.

Only three of Kenya’s gold medal winners in Addis Ababa - Richard Mateelong, Grace Wanjiru and Rudisha will step up to defend their titles.


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