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 current Olympic champion, World champion and world record holder in the 800 metres. Rudisha was the first person to 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 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 for the 800 m. He broke the record at the London 2012 Olympics on 9 August 2012, with a time of 1:40.91. He is the only human to ever run less than 1:41 for 800m. He has six of the eight fastest times ever, and the three fastest times of all-time.
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 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." 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, 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 single man ran the fastest time in history for their placing. 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. 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 world record was the more notable for the absence of pacemakers to assist him, 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. Rudisha also became the first reigning 800 m world champion to win Olympic gold at that distance. 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". 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 world record in 800 m for more than 16 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 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).
|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|
|400 m||45.15||3 May 2013||Nairobi|
|600 m||73.71||24 August 2014||Birmingham|
|800 m||1:40.91 WR||9 August 2012||London|
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- The Standard, 11 December 2010: Rudisha and Lagat crowned Soya best athletes
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- Fordyce, Tom (10 August 2012). "Usain Bolt & David Rudisha: Olympic stars united in greatness". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- 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.
- Scott-Elliot, Robin (11 August 2012). "Coe: Rudisha's run was greater than Bolt's". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- Gendelman, David (5 July 2012). "David Rudisha: The Best Olympic Track Star You've Never Heard Of". VanityFair.com. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- "David Rudisha gets ANOC award for best male athlete of London 2012". iaaf.org. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- Agina, Ben (14 December 2014). "Dedicated Kenyans receive awards". The Standard. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- Rowbottom, Mike. "Bolt says New York IAAF Diamond League meeting win is "one of the worst races I’ve run", "Inside the Games", 13 June 2015. Retrieved on 3 July 2015.
- China Daily, 8 September 2010: Feature: Kenya's Rudisha receives heroic welcome
- The Telegraph, 10 August 2012: London 2012 Olympics: David Rudisha, the athletics star eclipsed by Usain Bolt
- Ouma, Mark (13 August 2007). "Rudisha takes expected gold in Ouagadougou as African junior championships conclude". IAAF.org. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
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