David Rudisha

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David Rudisha
David Rudisha Daegu 2011.jpg
Rudisha in Daegu, 2011.
Personal information
Birth name David Lekuta Rudisha
Nationality Kenyan
Born (1988-12-17) 17 December 1988 (age 25)
Kilgoris, Narok County, Kenya
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)[1]
Sport
Sport Track and field
Event(s) 800 metres
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 400 m: 45.15 (2013)
800 m: 1:40.91 WR (2012)

David Lekuta Rudisha (born 17 December 1988) is a Kenyan middle distance runner. He is the current Olympic and world record holder in the 800 metres, as well as the current Olympic Champion at the distance. Rudisha was the first person to run under 1:41.00 for the event,[2] and he holds the three fastest, six of the eight fastest, and half of the twenty fastest times ever run in this event.[3] Rudisha has won a record 3 consecutive Track & Field Athlete of the Year awards (tied with Carl Lewis), and also won the IAAF World Athlete of the Year award in 2010.

Early life[edit]

Born in Kilgoris, Narok County, Rudisha went to Kimuron Secondary School in Iten, Keiyo District, which is known for nurturing several top runners including Wilson Kipketer, the previous 800 m world record holder, who had already held the record for several years before Rudisha joined the school. In April 2005 Japheth Kimutai recommended Rudisha to James Templeton, and Rudisha joined the group of runners managed by Templeton, which has at various time included Kimutai, Bernard Lagat and Augustine Choge.[4] Initially he was a 400 metres runner, but his coach, Irishman Colm O'Connell, prompted him to try 800 m. In 2006 he became the world junior champion over that distance.[5]

Career[edit]

Rudisha competed at the 2009 World Athletics Championships, reaching the 800 metres semifinals. In September 2009, Rudisha won the IAAF Grand Prix meeting in Rieti, Italy, posting a new African record of 1:42.01, beating the 25-year old record of 1:42.28 set by compatriot Sammy Koskei. That effort put him in fourth place on the all-time list.[6] In the 2010 IAAF Diamond League, he took on Abubaker Kaki at the Bislett Games in June. He defeated Sebastian Coe's 31-year-old meet record with a run of 1:42.04, giving him another place in the top-ten fastest ever 800 m and leaving Kaki the consolation of the fastest ever non-winning time.[7] On 10 July 2010, Rudisha ran the 800 m in 1:41.51 at the KBC Night of Athletics in Heusden, Belgium; this new personal record placed him No. 2 all-time in the world for the 800 m.[8]

On 22 August 2010 Rudisha broke Wilson Kipketer's 800 m World Record two days before the anniversary of that record with a time of 1:41.09 while racing in the ISATF meeting in Berlin. Just a week later, he broke the record again at the Rieti Diamond League Meeting, lowering it to 1:41.01

In November 2010, at the age of 21, he became the youngest ever athlete to win the IAAF World Athlete of the Year award. He also won the Kenyan Sportsman of the Year award.[9]

With a time of 1:41.74, Rudisha set the United States all comers 800 m record at the 2012 adidas Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium in New York City.[10] He guaranteed his selection for the Kenyan Olympic team for the first time with a win at the Kenyan trials, running a time of 1:42.12 minutes—the fastest ever recorded at altitude.[11]

Rudisha currently holds the world record for the 800 m. He broke the record at the London 2012 Olympics on 9 August 2012, with a time of 1:40.91.[12]

2012 Summer Olympics[edit]

On 9 August 2012 at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Rudisha led from start to finish to win gold in what was acclaimed "The Greatest 800 Metre Race Ever".[13] In so doing, he became the first and, so far, only runner to have broken the 1:41 barrier for 800 m.[14] From the start of the race, Rudisha led and pulled away from the rest of the field after 200 metres, completing the first lap in 49.28 seconds. By 600 metres his lead had grown to several metres. He continued to pull away until the final straight, where second place Nigel Amos was able to slightly gain some ground as Rudisha strained. But the gap was much too great to close, and Rudisha crossed the line in a world-record time of 1:40.91.

Rudisha dragged the rest of the field with him to create a historic race whose story, wrote Sports Illustrated's David Epstein, "is best told, perhaps, in 16 letters: WR, NR, PB, PB, PB, NR, SB, PB."[15] The pace was so punishing that the silver medallist, Amos, had to be carried from the track on a stretcher, though his exertion did earn him the world junior record and make him only the fifth man in history to run under 1:42,[16] something Rudisha has now done seven times.[3] "With Rudisha breaking 1:41, two men under 1:42, five under 1:43 and all eight under 1:44," noted the IAAF, "it was the greatest depth 800m race in history."[17] Every single man ran the fastest time in history for their placing.[14] All eight runners set season's bests; seven set personal bests; and three set national records, of which one was also the world junior record while another was the Olympic and world record.[16][18] It was the first time in international 800m history where every competitor ran either a personal or season's best.[19] The time set by the eighth-placed Andrew Osagie, a personal best of 1:43.77, would have won gold at any of the preceding 21st-century Olympics.[20]

As well as being the first man to go below 1:41, he broke his own world record that was set in 2010. "The splits triggered amazement: 23.4 secs for the first 200 m, 25.88 secs for the second, a critical 25.02 for the third and 26.61 to bring it all home."[21] Rudisha's world record was the more notable for the absence of pacemakers to assist him,[15] the latter not being permitted at the Olympics and other major championships. Its difficulty is underlined by the previous person to win an Olympic 800 m final with a world record was Alberto Juantorena, back in 1976.[17] Rudisha also became the first reigning 800 m world champion to win Olympic gold at that distance.[15] Sebastian Coe, organiser of the London Olympics, said: "It was the performance of the Games, not just of track and field but of the Games".[22] He added: "Bolt was good, Rudisha was magnificent. That is quite a big call but it was the most extraordinary piece of running I have probably ever seen."[23] Rudisha had been in good shape coming into the race, having "clocked a staggering 1:42.12 minutes at high altitude in Nairobi during the Kenyan [Olympic] trials. After that he had said 'the race was nice and easy'."[17]

Before the race, Rudisha had joked about his father's 1968 400 m relay silver medal: "It would be good for me to win gold, so we can have gold and silver in our family . . . so I can tell him, 'I am better than you.'"[16] Afterwards, he admitted that it would go down as the greatest 800 race personally for him as well because he won it in front of Sebastian Coe who held the world record in 800 m for more than 16 years. This race was also touted as a run for his community and tribe.[24]

2013[edit]

He could not compete at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics because of an injury.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Rudisha is a member of the Maasai ethnic group in Kenya.[5] His father, Daniel Rudisha, is a former runner who won silver medal at the 1968 Olympics as part of the Kenyan 4 × 400 m relay team, while his mother Naomi is a former 400 m hurdler.[26] He is married to Lizzy Naanyu with a daughter (as of 2010).[26]

He is a supporter of the football club Arsenal F.C. [27]

Achievements[edit]

Rudisha at the 2010 Memorial van Damme.
Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing  Kenya
2006 World Junior Championships Beijing, China 1st 800m (1:47.40)
2007 African Junior Championships Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 1st 800 m (1:46.41)[28]
2008 African Championships Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1st 800 m (1:44.20)
2009 World Athletics Final Thessaloniki, Greece 1st 800 m (1:44.85)
2010 African Championships Nairobi, Kenya 1st 800 m (1:42.84)
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 1st 800 m (1:43.91)
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 1st 800 m (1:40.91)
2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow, Scotland 2 nd 800 m (1:45.48)

Personal bests[edit]

Event Time Date Location
400 m 45.13 3 May 2013 Nairobi
800 m 1:40.91 WR 9 August 2012 London

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wokabi, James; Mutuota, Mutwiri (15 July 2008). "Focus on Athletes: David Lekuta Rudisha". IAAF.org. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Bull, Andy (9 August 2012). "David Rudisha breaks world record to win Olympic 800m gold for Kenya". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Men's 800 Metres All-Time List". IAAF.org. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Robinson, Georgina (16 June 2012). "Running the show". smh.com.au. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Wenig, Jörg (13 September 2009). "Rudisha: Following in the footsteps of Konchellah and Kipketer?". IAAF.org. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  6. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (6 September 2009). "Rudisha 1:42.01 African 800m record in Rieti". IAAF.org. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "Middle distance magic in Oslo". IAAF.org. 4 June 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Hendrix, Ivo (10 July 2010). "Phenomenal 1:41.51 for Rudisha in Heusden-Zolder". IAAF.org. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  9. ^ The Standard, 11 December 2010: Rudisha and Lagat crowned Soya best athletes
  10. ^ "Men's 800m". Diamond League, New York. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  11. ^ Mutuota, Mutwiri (23 June 2012). "Rudisha runs 1:42.12 at altitude". IAAF.org. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  12. ^ Rostance, Tom (9 August 2012). "David Rudisha breaks 800m world record in Olympics win". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  13. ^ Cacciola, Scott (9 August 2012). "The Greatest 800 Metres Ever Run". WSJ.com. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Ramsak, Bob (9 August 2012). "Stunning! Rudisha 1:40.91 World Record in London!". IAAF.org. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  15. ^ a b c Epstein, David (10 August 2012). "World record leaves us wondering, how low can Rudisha go in 800?". sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c Bull, Andy (9 August 2012). "David Rudisha breaks world record to win Olympic 800m gold for Kenya". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c Wenig, Jörg (10 August 2012). "Rudisha produces a moment for which the Games will be remembered". IAAF.org. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  18. ^ Mulkeen, Jon (9 August 2012). "Rudisha breaks 800 m world record, Bolt leads Jamaican 200m sweep - London 2012 Day Seven Report". IAAF.org. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  19. ^ http://london2012.bbc.co.uk/athletics/event/men-800m/index.html
  20. ^ Rostance, Tom (10 August 2012). "David Rudisha's Olympics & world record 800m win 'unbelievable'". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  21. ^ Fordyce, Tom (10 August 2012). "Usain Bolt & David Rudisha: Olympic stars united in greatness". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  22. ^ Gibson, Owen (10 August 2012). "David Rudisha's front running for 800m gold is lauded by Sebastian Coe". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  23. ^ Scott-Elliot, Robin (11 August 2012). "Coe: Rudisha's run was greater than Bolt's". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  24. ^ Gendelman, David (5 July 2012). "David Rudisha: The Best Olympic Track Star You've Never Heard Of". VanityFair.com. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  25. ^ Flotrack.org
  26. ^ a b China Daily, 8 September 2010: Feature: Kenya's Rudisha receives heroic welcome
  27. ^ The Telegraph, 10 August 2012: London 2012 Olympics: David Rudisha, the athletics star eclipsed by Usain Bolt
  28. ^ Ouma, Mark (13 August 2007). "Rudisha takes expected gold in Ouagadougou as African junior championships conclude". IAAF.org. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 

External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by
Denmark Wilson Kipketer
Men's 800 metres world record holder
29 August 2010 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Awards
Preceded by
Jamaica Usain Bolt
IAAF World Athlete of the Year
2010
Succeeded by
Jamaica Usain Bolt
Preceded by
Jamaica Usain Bolt
Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
2010 – 2012
Succeeded by
Ukraine Bohdan Bondarenko
Preceded by
Collins Injera
Patrick Makau Musyoki
Kenyan Sportsman of the Year
2010
2012
Succeeded by
Patrick Makau Musyoki
Ezekiel Kemboi
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Sudan Abubaker Kaki
Men's 800 metres best year performance
2009–2012
Succeeded by
[to be determined][dated info]