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Kenya's Rudisha set his sight on Olympic gold

08-01-2012 04:00 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

by Kimathi Kamau

NAIROBI, July 31 (Xinhua) -- World record holder David Rudisha has set the Olympics record in his sights to crown a resounding debut at the event.

The world champion who is one of marquee Kenyan distance runners who left for London on Monday night believes his is in the frame to obliterate Norwegian Vebjorn Rodal's Olympic record of 1:42.58 set at the Atlanta Olympics.

"The other day I dropped the altitude record in Nairobi when I did 1:42.12 that was close to a 1:41. The Olympics record is 1:42 and half and I expect to dip under that," said the two-time African and continental gold medalist who is the overall captain of the Kenyan team to the 30th Olympian.

He moved to calm widespread media reports that have suggested he will go for his own 1:41.01 standard in the men's two-lap in London where he pledged to stage a memorable show for track and field enthusiasts.

"There are a lot of things to consider for the world record, the environment and the weather for instance but my aim target is to win the Olympics," the athlete who missed out on the event four years ago due to injury stressed.

Rudisha who has underlined his intentions by running his fifth and sixth career sub 1:42s this season, an uncharted feat in the history of the event, does not expect a stroll at the London Olympic Stadium in the face of fearsome talent aiming for his scalp.

"This year, I have been running very well and London will be tough because it's a championship event. I have done my best, smooth training and no injuries and I believe in myself that I will do well," he assured.

Ethiopian record holder and world indoor champion, Mohammed Aman and Botswana African champion, Nijel Amos have emerged as threats to his presumptive Olympic crown besides compatriots Timothy Kitum and Anthony Chemut.

The Ethiopian handed Rudisha a first defeat in 26 races at the back end of last season but Rudisha has since emerged to silence doubters with his 1:41.74 blast in New York that wiped Rodal's Atlanta mark as an American soil record on June 9 before he scorched to the world leading 1:41.54 in Monaco on July 6.

Amos trails him in the 2012 charts with his 1:43.11 victory in Mannheim, Germany three days later but the marked difference in the times does not have a bearing on championship running.

Being one of the only four men who have run under 1:42 in their careers, Rudisha is also stepping in to London to give a worthy headline making show for his friend and idol, Lord Sebastian Coe, the London 2012 chief, who shares the 800m distinction with the Kenyan.

"He is a good friend of mine and we have met in a few places and had a chat. He is one of the best middle distance runners and before I broke the world record, he told me you are gonna do it. I'm happy to go to London where he has organised the Olympics and it is morale for me to go there and give the event my best," Rudisha said of one of his predecessors as world record holder.

Coe broke the 800m record twice it twice, running 1:42.33 in 1979 and 1:41.73 in 1981, a mark that stood until 1997 when Kenyan born Dane Wilson Kipketer matched it before lowering it to 1:41.24 and 1:41.11, the mark that stood for 13 years until Rudisha dropped it to first 1:41.09 then 1:41.01 inside a week in 2010.


Editor:Bai Yang |Source: Xinhua

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