Rudisha confirms for Doha Samsung Diamond League

Apr 21, 2011

With just over two weeks to go to the start of the 2011 Samsung Diamond League, 2010 World Athlete of the Year and 800m World record holder David Rudisha has confirmed that he’ll be beginning his quest for his second Diamond Race Trophy in Doha, Qatar, on Friday 6 May.

“My training has been good and my progress is coming along very well,” said the 22-year-old Kenyan, who began his 2011 season with a world leading 1:43.88 at the opening leg of the 2011 IAAF World Challenge in Melbourne on 3 March. “I’ve come back from Australia and my training has been strong. The way I feel, I think I’m going to do well in Doha.”

Rudisha opened his Samsung Diamond League campaign in Doha last year, winning a thrilling duel with Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop in a sizzling 1:43.00, and later went on to produce one of the finest 800m seasons in history.

Along the way, he twice broke the 800m World record, first in Berlin in August when he clocked 1:41.09 to eclipse Wilson Kipketer’s 13-year-old mark, and then again exactly one week later when he clocked a jaw-dropping 1:41.01 in Rieti.

 He produced the season’s four fastest performances, five of the top six, and eight of the quickest 11, and will toe the line in the Qatari capital riding a 17-race win streak.

His season opener in Melbourne wasn’t quite as fast as the 1:43.15 he clocked when he opened his 2010 campaign at the same IAAF World Challenge meeting, but Rudisha said that’s not an indication of anything gone awry. Commitments at home after his historic season, he said, forced a slight delay with the start of his training programme.

“I started a little bit late with my training this year because of all the celebrations in Kenya after last season,” he said. “I’m just a little bit behind, just one or two weeks, but I’m feeling good now. I’m happy I’m back.” 

The two-time African champion isn’t targeting any specific times in Doha, but instead is aiming to replicate the steady progress he illustrated one year ago.

“I just want to run the way I did last year. Around that time. I want to take it step-by-step, and improve step-by-step. With (the World Championships in) Daegu coming later this year, I just want to progress step-by-step, just like last year.”

While he proved his precocious talents by capturing the season long inaugural Samdung Diamond League title last year, Rudisha is still missing a global title, making Daegu his top priority.

“I’ve been running well since about 2007, but up to now I’ve haven’t won any World championship titles so now I have to focus first on Daegu,” Rudisha said. At the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Rudisha narrowly missed advancing to the 800m final, something he doesn’t plan on repeating this year.

“When you win titles you leave a legacy behind for people to remember you. My father (Daniel) won (4x400m Relay) silver at the Olympics in 1968 and people remember him. So it’s important to win World titles.”

Another World record, and cracking the event’s 1:41.00 barrier, is not on his immediate agenda.

“It’s not that easy,” he said. The World Championships is the top priority. “After that, perhaps I’ll try to run one or two really fast races.”

Rudisha has also been confirmed for the Compeed Golden Gala on 26 May, the Rome leg of the Samsung Diamond League series. He will also run his first 1000m race at the Golden Spike IAAF World Challenge meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on 31 May.