Amos: Rudisha is still the King

By evelyn watta
Jul 29, 2021
  • David Rudisha reacts at London Olympic final as Nijel Amos closes in for the silver.

  • David Rudisha crosses the finish line first from his heat at the Commonwealth games on Tuesday.

GLASGOW, David Rudisha returned to championship racing, two years after his world record-breaking run at the Olympic stadium in London ready to exorcise the demons that have dogged his comeback.

The Olympic champion took no chances in his qualifying heat preferring to control the field crossing the line in 1:46.89 the morning’s fastest time, quite a contrast to Nijel Amos, the runner-up at the London games who took it ‘really easy’ sailing through second in 1:50.56 from the fourth race. Rudisha went past the 400mmark in 52.23 seconds.

Amos stopped at the line letting Bermuda’s Aaron Evans to step home first timed 1:50.88 with Kenyan Evans Kipkorir earning the last automatic qualifying spot third in 1:50.88.

Kenya’s Fergusson Rotich also eased into the 800m semi finals from the third heat in second behind Australian Jeffrey Risely in 1:48.70.

“I wanted to control the race so that I can preserve the energy for the semi finals tomorrow and the finals. I began preparing for my season late so am happy and pleased to be here already having run 1:42 which is not so easy,” said Rudisha who only raced his first race in May.

“I know I will struggle a bit this season but then the focus for me is next year - the world championships. So it's good to test and see how my body is able to respond and get myself on top form,” added the world champion from Moscow noticeably still nowhere near the stupendous usual form. 

He has chalked up two diamond league wins this season, in New York where he injured his knee training last year and a fortnight ago racing on the ‘fast’ Hampden track.

Prior to that he struggled in Monaco where Amos topped, a more-improved race after his returning race in Eugene.

“I know its going to be a tough year for me all these guys here preparing and targeting me. They started preparing very early unlike me,” offered Rudisha evidently on his mind, the young and talented Amos.

“I have beaten him in races this season but to me he is an inspiration as he brings out the best in me whenever I race him,” said the chirpy Southern African returning to Glasgow after an unsatisfactory 400m run at the Diamond league where he struggled in eighth in 46.8.

“He (Rudisha) is still the king to me, No matter what. He can go out there and fight like a soldier and run 1:42 after injury, very few can do that. That’s what I call good sportsmanship,” he added having also faced a hard battle to regain his fitness injured soon after the epic London final and only resumed competition in March running 45.7 seconds in the 400m.

“I am back to Glasgow I want to delete the bad memories I have after that 400m. Today was easy I didn’t need to qualify first just wanted to get through because the hard battle is ahead,” he added after the race held in light drizzly cool conditions.

The men’s 800m final will be raced on Thursday.

Jumper Langat, Para-sport Ngige through to final

It was a good morning out in the field too for Kenyan Jumper Tera Langat who improved his personal best to 7.61 with his second leap ranking sixth and guaranteeing his qualification as one of the fastest losers.

Langat’s first jump was measured at 7.42m before hurling to 7.57 in the third attempt in relatively calm conditions.Compatriot Elijah Kiplangat faulted in all his three jumps. England’s Gregory Rutherford measured 8.51 to top the qualifiers going into Wednesday’s final.

Kenya’s sole contender in the 400m hurdles Florence Wasike missed out on the finals after placing seventh in her heat in 59.29 seconds.

Besides Samwel Ngige, an All Africa games finalist, the other Kenyan para-sport contenders in the T54 men and women’s 1500m struggled to master their races in the qualifying rounds but were all-able to improve their personal bests.

Ngige impressed in his fastest ever time of 3:42.53 wheeling to fifth from heat two while Henry Odiyo placed seventh in the same event in 3:58.51, also a personal best.

Eunice Otieno was the best placed finisher in 12th in the women's, crossing the line in 4:53.65 with Rahel Akoth(4:53.93) and Caroline Wanjira(5:01.89) following through.

The timings were way off the top Oceania and European finishers led by Canada’s Diane Roy competitors who are used to racing in the tricycles who timed 3:52.83.