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World record for Rudisha

Published:Friday | August 10, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Kenya's David Lekuta Rudisha celebrates his win in the men's 800-metres final at the 2012 London Olympics yesterday. Rudisha set a new world record with a time of 1:40.91. - AP


David Rudisha did what no one else, Usain Bolt included, has been able to do at the London Games: set a world record on the Olympic track.

Rudisha had told his rivals in the 800 meters to be ready for a world record, and he delivered on his word, winning yesterday's final in one minute, 40.91 seconds, one-tenth of a second off the mark he set in 2010. That makes him the first man ever to run a sub-1:41.00 time for the 800m.

After crossing the finish, he flung up both arms to celebrate, then draped himself in a Kenyan flag and posed for photographs near the timing clock. He has been the dominant 800-metre runner for the last three years, setting the world record three times and losing just once since 2009. This, though, topped all that.

"It's something special to break the world record at the Olympics," Rudisha said, something that hasn't happened in the 800m since 1976. "I have waited for this moment for a long time.

"I had no doubt about winning. The weather was beautiful so I decided to go for it."

Sebastian Coe, a middle-distance running great and head of the London organising committee, wasn't in much doubt about the significance of Rudisha's race.

"That was simply an unbelievable performance," Coe said. "David Rudisha showed supreme physical and mental confidence to run like that in an Olympic final.