Rudisha in Beijing in 2015
|Birth name||David Lekuta Rudisha|
17 December 1988 |
Kilgoris, Narok County, Kenya
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Sport||Track and field|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||400 m: 45.15 (2013)
800 m: 1:40.91 WR (2012)
David Lekuta Rudisha, MBS (born 17 December 1988) is a Kenyan middle-distance runner. He is the 2012 and 2016 Olympic champion, World champion and world record holder in the 800 metres. Rudisha is the first and only person to ever run under 1:41 for the event, and he holds the three fastest, six of the eight fastest, and half of the twenty fastest times ever run in this event. 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.
Born on 17 December 1988 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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
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. 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.
Rudisha currently holds the world record of 1:40.91 for the 800 m, set at the London 2012 Olympics on 9 August 2012. He has the three fastest times recorded and six of the top eight fastest times in the 800m.
2012 Summer Olympics
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 Meter Race Ever". In so doing, he became the first and, so far, only runner to break the 1:41 barrier for 800 m. 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's competitors all ran exceptional times. Sports Illustrated's David Epstein reported that the race "is best told, perhaps, in 16 letters: WR, NR, PB, PB, PB, NR, SB, PB." The silver medallist, Amos, had to be carried from the track on a stretcher after setting the world junior record and make him only the fifth man in history to run under 1:42, something Rudisha has now done seven times. "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." Every competitor ran the fastest time in history for their placing. It was the first time in international 800m history where every competitor ran either a personal or season's best. The time set by the eighth-placed Andrew Osagie, a personal best of 1:43.77, would have won gold at the three preceding Olympic games in Beijing, Athens and Sydney. 
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." Rudisha's record was considered especially notable for the absence of pacemakers, which are not permitted at the Olympics or other major championships. The previous person to win an Olympic 800 m final with a world record was Alberto Juantorena, back in 1976. Rudisha also became the first reigning 800 m world champion to win Olympic gold at that distance. Sebastian Coe, of the London Olympics organising committee who himself held the 800m world record for 17 years, said: "It was the performance of the Games, not just of track and field but of the Games". 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." 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'."
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.'" 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 record for more than 17 years. This race was also touted as a run for his community and tribe. Rudisha was later given the Association of National Olympic Committees Award for Best Male Athlete of London 2012, as well as receiving the honour of Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) from the government of Kenya.
At the New York IAAF Diamond League meeting in June of 2015, Rudisha won the 800m with a time of 1:43.58.
Rudisha successfully defended his Olympic title at the 2016 Summer Olympics, taking gold with a time of 1:42.15. He was the first person since Peter Snell in 1964 to win back-to-back Olympic 800m titles.The final went out very quickly with fellow Kenyan Alfred Kipketer leading through 200m in 23.2 sec. Rudisha was tucked in close behind through a 49.3 first 400m. With just under 300m to go Rudisha made a strong surge to the front. A large gap was formed that proved too much for fast closing Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria in the final homestretch. His finishing time was the fastest he has run since the 2012 Olympic final in London, as well as the fastest time in the world for 2016.
Rudisha is a member of the Maasai ethnic group in Kenya. His father, Daniel Rudisha, is a former runner who won the 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. He is married to Lizzy Naanyu with two daughters (as of 2015). Tom Fordyce of the BBC said of him, "He is the greatest 800m runner of all time and he may also be the nicest man in his sport."
|2006||World Junior Championships||Beijing, China||1st||800m||1:47.40|
|4th||4 × 400 m relay||3:05.54|
|2007||African Junior Championships||Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso||1st||800 m||1:46.41|
|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||2nd||800 m||1:45.48|
|2015||World Championships||Beijing, China||1st||800 m||1:45.84|
|2016||Olympic Games||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||1st||800 m||1:42.15|
|600 m||1:13.10||24 August 2014||Birmingham|
|800 m||1:40.91 WR||9 August 2012||London|
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- China Daily, 8 September 2010: Feature: Kenya's Rudisha receives heroic welcome
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to David Rudisha.|
|Men's 800 metres world record holder
29 August 2010 – present
|IAAF World Athlete of the Year
|Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
|Men's 800 metres best year performance