Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Unlike his buddy Bolt, Rudisha goes for the quiet life

Published:Friday | August 12, 2016 | 8:00 AM
In this August 9, 2012, file photo, Kenya's David Rudisha celebrates his win in the men's 800m final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, in London.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP):

They are buddies, Usain Bolt and David Rudisha, two runners who both made loud statements at the last Olympics.

Off the track, one of them speaks louder - and much more often - than the other.

Even though Rudisha, the 800-metre Olympic champion from Kenya, refers to Bolt as his brother from another mother, you really couldn't get two more contrasting characters.

You can see and hear Bolt coming from a mile away. The sport's No. 1 showman is all fabulous flash and dazzle, with the Bolt show opening this week in Rio de Janeiro with a packed news conference featuring samba dancers, loads of selfies, and the Jamaican busting out a few moves of his own to some banging music for his adoring audience.

No big deal for Bolt, but it's safe to say that that wouldn't happen with Rudisha.

Apart from a couple of tweets - one of them politely thanking the airline crew that flew him over to Brazil - you're unlikely to see or hear much of the softly spoken and completely unassuming Rudisha until today. But then, when the running begins and the world-record holder over two laps stretches out his long legs on the first day of the track competition, you might remember that he also provided one of the most pulsating performances of the 2012 London Games, with a record-breaking, wire-to-wire win.

 

PURE DOMINANCE

 

It was Rudisha versus the clock in the 800m final fours years ago - the rest of the field faded into insignificance - and it was a race of such pure dominance that even Bolt appreciated it. In London, the fastest man in the world put a media interview on hold to watch Rudisha get his gold at the medal ceremony, with Bolt standing to attention in respect as the Kenyan anthem played.

Rudisha really likes that Bolt is about much more than just self-promotion.

"When we meet, we always have a word since we know each other, and it's a great thing since we respect each other like brothers from different mothers," Rudisha said. "He always makes time to come and watch us run, which tells you he's a true athlete who does not only go to support his event. I also make sure I don't miss his races when I have the chance."