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Rudisha would love to face Bolt in relay

Published:Thursday | May 10, 2012 | 12:00 AM

DOHA, Qatar (AP):

David Rudisha, the 800 metres World Champion and Olympic favourite, likes his chances if he faced Usain Bolt in the right race.

At a press conference yesterday for the season-opening Diamond League meet, Rudisha considered the possibility of facing Bolt in a showdown he'd love, but can't see happening.

The Kenyan picked the 4x400-metre relay for the dream clash with Bolt, in that they would meet at a distance between their best races.

"I would come down to 400 and he is doing 100 and 200 so doing 400 we would meet in the middle,'' said Rudisha, who has run 400 races in the past to improve his speed.

"Usain Bolt is fast. I don't have that speed. I have that little bit of speed and mileage. That's why I say it would be fun and enjoyable to watch.

"It would be an interesting race if we were doing the last leg together. It would be great seeing two world record holders competing.''

Rudisha, who comes into Doha injury-free, said the race tomorrow will help him gauge his build-up for the London Games. Winning gold is the one major achievement that has eluded the 23-year-old world champion. A world-best time in Doha would show he is on track, he said.

"This is an Olympic year and that is my main focus," Rudisha said. "I'm desperate to win the Olympics. This is what I am so far missing in everything I've done.''

Clear favourite

Rudisha is the clear favourite in Doha, especially after his rival Mohammed Aman pulled out. The 18-year-old Ethiopian beat Rudisha in Milan in September and won the 800 at the World Indoor Championships in March.

"He's good and talented,'' Rudisha said, comparing the rivalry with Aman to his early competition with Abubaker Kaki of Sudan, who is running the 1,500 in Doha.

"It's good to get that challenge because it gives us good competition, which is healthy for us ... I know if I don't work hard, then he will be ready to beat me.''

With two world record-breaking runs in 2010 and the World Championship last year, Rudisha acknowledges his popularity has skyrocketed. But he said he has no plans to change his training regimen.

"Everything changes especially when you do something special. You see people approach you and the respect they give you because you did something special,'' Rudisha said. "When it comes to training and when it comes to your focus, you don't have to change. It's good to be humble and do what you have been doing.''