Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Rudisha targets fast time

Published:Friday | May 13, 2016 | 5:00 AM
Kenya's David Rudisha

SHANGHAI, China:

World 800 metres record holder and Olympic champion David Rudisha says he has been training well over the past few weeks and is looking to step up his preparation ahead of this Summer's Olympic Games in Rio, with a positive run at tomorrow's IAAF Diamond League in Shanghai, China.

Despite a tough 2013 and having to watch rivals such as Nijel Amos and Ayanleh Souleiman post impressive times over the past couple of seasons, Rudisha has been the reference point in the men's 800m for the past five years.

After running a world record 1:40.91 at the London Olympic Games in 2012, Rudisha has since struggled somewhat for pace, managing only one mark below 1:43.00 since then back in 2014. Still, he did manage to win silver at the Commonwealth Games that year and followed that up with a gold at last year's World Championships in Beijing. He now believes he has laid the foundation for a strong season after a useful stay in Australia which was followed by an intense camp back home in Kenya.

Rudisha has already improved on last season with his 1:44.78 and 1:44.89 clockings at meets in Australia, giving him his first back-to-back sub-1:45.00 start to a season in two years.

LOOKING FORWARD

He'll come up against four of his countrymen, including World Championships finalists Ferguson Cheruiyot and Alfred Kipketer, with World Youth champion over 1500m from 2013, Robert Biwot, also listed to compete. World Indoor bronze medallist Erik Sowinski (USA) and seasoned campaigner Nick Simmonds, a World Champs silver medal winner in 2013 also from the USA expected to make it interesting.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Rudisha noted that he was looking forward to his first Shanghai race and shared that he is looking to improve on his times so far this season and lower the meet record of 1:44.63 set in 2008 by Wilfred Bungei.

"This is my first time in Shanghai and this is my first main competition, so I am looking forward to a good race," Rudisha said. "After Australia, I have been training well in Kenya and I hope to put that good training in practice here."

" I take these events very seriously. It's more important because I want to keep improving and, of course, my ultimate aim is to be at the top in Rio, but here I'm also looking forward to improving from my last time. I'm looking for 1:43.50 and that would be a good performance for me. It would, of course, be a season's best," added Rudisha.

Despite missing the big times last year, Rudisha won all but four of his 11 races over 800m.