As David Rudisha glided around the final bend of the world championship 800m final he kicked for home and found his old magic working again
As David Rudisha glided around the final bend of the world championship 800m final he kicked for home and found his old magic working again. Suddenly the gap between him and everyone else seemed to double – and while his rivals appeared to be trying twice as hard, they looked to be going twice as slowly.
Rudisha has had a rough old three years since winning gold and breaking the world record at London 2012, and even feared for his career after undergoing keyhole surgery on a serious knee injury two years ago. But on the eve of these world champions the great Kenyan revealed that he finally felt pain free – and that his 300m interval times in training were fast heading back to where he wanted them to be.
But this was not the barnstorming Rudisha of old. Instead he controlled a slow and tactical race from the front, keeping his opponents in check before sprinting away to win his second world title in 1min 45.84sec. Poland’s Adam Kszczot took silver while the Bosnian athlete Amel Tuka was third.
“I am delighted about this gold medal,” said Rudisha. “It means a lot to me, especially after all these disappointments I have had. Last month I had a problem with my speed, but when I solved it I knew: no matter if the pace in this final was slow or fast I could win.
“This is really special for me, despite the fact I was coming from a bad injury which almost pushed me out of my career. When I had that keyhole surgery, I thought: ‘Maybe, if I come back, it won’t be to that top level.’ But with the support I have been getting from my coach, family and friends, I think that really motivated me to come back strong.”