Humble Rudisha ready to light up London track
By Ed Osmond
LONDON (Reuters) - David Rudisha will not try to steal Usain Bolt's limelight at the London Olympics but the humble Kenyan 800 meters runner has the pedigree to light up the track in a very different style to the great Jamaican sprinter.
In eight summer days in 2010, the tall and languid Rudisha did something twice that nobody else had achieved for 13 years.
He smashed the seemingly unbreakable 800 meters world record of one minute 41.11 seconds set by Denmark's Wilson Kipketer in 1997 and the following week he lowered the mark again to 1:41.01.
The 23-year-old Rudisha has dominated the event since and after running a blistering 1:41.74 in New York on Saturday he will be overwhelming favorite to add the Olympic gold medal in London to the world title he claimed in South Korea last year.
It has not always been plain sailing for the athlete whose father Daniel was the first Maasai to compete at the Olympics and won a relay silver in Mexico City in 1968.
Rudisha junior started out as a 400 meters runner but was persuaded to switch to the longer distance by Irishman Colm O'Connell who coaches at the famous St Patrick's High School in Kenya's Rift Valley where Rudisha's talent was nurtured.
He won the world junior title in Beijing in 2006, earning the nickname "Pride of Africa", but missed the 2008 Olympics through injury and failed to reach the world championship final in Berlin in 2009 when he got boxed in during the semi-final.
His fortunes changed in a big way in 2010, however, with a world-record time of 1:41.09 in Berlin followed eight days later by an even faster run in Rieti, Italy. Continued...