The 800m world-record holder would like a spot on Kenya’s squad.
(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.
NEW YORK — At Friday’s press conference prior to the adidas Grand Prix, the sixth stop on the Samsung Diamond League circuit, David Rudisha addressed numerous questions surrounding his performances over the last two years. During his time at the podium, the 800m world record holder talked about his present, past, and future in the discipline. But one point stood out among the rest: Rudisha’s eye on a second event at the London Olympics.
Of course, Rudisha’s main focus right now is the 800m in London, where he hopes to become the first world record holder to win Olympic gold since 1976 when Alberto Juantorena did so. But, the 23-year-old also is hoping to run the 4x400m relay, an event he has thought about recently. If Athletics Kenya allows him, Rudisha would like to run a leg of the 4x400m at the London Games.
“Maybe this year, for me, if the Kenya team will make 4x400m at the Olympics, after my specialty 800m [is complete] I can get excited to run 4x400m,” Rudisha told reporters here.
Rudisha’s personal best over 400m is 45.50, a mark that isn’t too shabby for a middle distance athlete. Earlier this year in Australia at the Sydney Track Classic, Rudisha ran 45.82 for the event. Previously, in a conference call, Rudisha emphasized that he was interested in the 4x400m.
“[The] 400m is an exciting race. I love it, and when I normally compete it is just fun,” he said on May 29. “I am hoping that the Kenya team will make, get the qualifying time and of course make it to the final during that day. And hopefully if they want me to be on the team, I am ready. I will have no pressure by then because I have completed my individual event which is 800m.”
Rudisha told the media present today that he doesn’t plan on competing in any open 400m races the rest of the season; he worries that mixing 800m and 400m races could potentially disrupt his rhythm in the 800m.
Interestingly, Rudisha’s father Daniel was a 4x400m silver medalist at the 1968 Olympics, and his mother Naomi is a former 400m hurdler.
But don’t be fooled. Rudisha’s major goal is 800m.
“I know people are expecting a lot,” he said. “This is an Olympic year, people are always expecting good performances.”