Rudisha’s Coach Says Focus Is A Challenge

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published May. 1, 2013
  • Updated May. 1, 2013 at 10:43 AM UTC
David Rudisha (left) poses with his coach Colm O'Connell. Photo: IAAF

Irishman Colm O’Connell sits down for an interview with the IAAF.

At the age of 28 back in 1976, Colm O’Connell came to Kenya for one reason: to teach school.

But since then, the Irish Patrician Brother has turned into one of the most successful middle-distance coaches of all time. He was thrust into the sport of athletics, taking on a coaching assignment at the famed St. Patrick’s school in Iten, with no training whatsoever.

Currently, O’Connell coaches world-record holder David Rudisha and sat down with the IAAF to talk about this athlete.

“Usually, we sit together in mid-November,” O’Connell says of Rudisha. “We first talk about the previous season: what was good, what was bad and why? I let him do quite a lot of the post-mortem. Then we start talking about the coming year. What will be the priorities, the high points?”

But O’Connell admits that focus is a challenge for the Olympic gold medalist.

“I compare his situation with Haile Gebrselassie and Usain Bolt,” he says. “These two have also achieved everything and managed to go on from there. It is a new scenario for David.”

For More: IAAF

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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