Athletics: Beaten Rudisha named in Kenya Olympic team

Fri Jul 1, 2016 12:34pm EDT
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By Isaack Omulo

ELDORET, Kenya, July 1 (Reuters) – Olympic and world 800m champion David Rudisha scraped into the Kenyan team for the Rio Olympics after finishing third in the east African nation’s trials on Friday.

Rudisha, enduring a poor season, was passed on the final bend by youngster Ferguson Rotich and surprise winner Alfred Kipketer.

Rudisha, also the world record holder, finished third in 1:44.23 after getting boxed in. Kipketer's time was 1:43.73 and Rotich ran 1:44.05.

“My plan was to run from behind but I was caught on the back stretch and boxed in," Rudisha told reporters. "I was only able to come up in the last 150 meters and kicked to make the team.”

Rudisha has had a poor season by his standards after winning the world title last year.

“To make the team was the most important thing today," he said. "More so, after the semi-final race took a lot of energy from me yesterday. I have nothing to complain about.

“I feel that my body is coming back pretty nicely and I am in better form than last year. I am focused and determined to defend my title,”

World half-marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor and Bedan Karoki were named in the Olympic team at 10,000 meters despite both failing to finish the race at the trials. Kamworor had a stomach upset and Karoki was injured.   Continued...

Athletics - Rio 2016 Olympic Games - Men's 800 meter trials - Eldoret, Kenya - 1/7/16 - David Rudisha prepares. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya