Kenya's Olympic 800m champion names new world record holder

08:57, July 12, 2010      

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Kenya's Olympic 800m champion Wilfred Bungei on Sunday has tipped David Rudisha to set a new world record soon.

He was speaking after Rudisha ran an astonishing 800m at the KBC Night of Athletics in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium on Saturday.

The Kenyan became the second fastest man in history at the 800m when he crossed the line in a phenomenal 1:41.51, an African record and the fastest time in the world since Wilson Kipketer broke the world record (1:41.11) at two occasions in 1997.

"Rudisha is enjoying the best time in his career and he is young. I think he is capable of breaking the world record soon," said Bungei.

Rudisha, a son of former Olympic silver medallist Daniel Rudisha, had become the fastest 800m runner in the world last season when he set a personal best of 1:42.01 in Rieti 2009. And his 1:42.04 run in Oslo in June was already the world leading mark of 2010.

Still there was a lot of skepticism amongst the middle distance experts when the organizers announced earlier this week that Rudisha would attempt to break the 800m World record in Heusden-Zolder.

But the Kenyan sent a shiver through the stadium when he came into the final straight with a real opportunity to break the legendary world record of Wilson Kipketer. Rudisha finished just a few tenths of a second shy, and the 10,000 spectators realized they had just witnessed a unique and exceptional track performance from the 21-year-old Kenyan.

Rudisha brought his own pacemakers with him and they led him through somewhere beyond 550m. Sammy Tangui went through to the 400m in 49.14 with Rudisha remaining slightly behind, clocking an unofficial 49.65 at the bell.

Boaz Lalang kept the pace going until Rudisha came through on the inside with 250m to go. In a lonely effort Rudisha cruised through the 600m in an unofficial 1:14.4 and hardly faded to finish the race in an African record, a personal best, a world leading and the third fastest 800m time in history of 1:41.51.

"Today I wanted to do something that I had never done before", said Rudisha. "In the final stages it is always tough and I will need to improve on my last 50m if I want to break the World record. I do not feel disappointed at all about not breaking the world record.

"I enjoy running well and gradually becoming better and better. Today I wanted to run in the 1:41 and that is what I achieved and I feel great about that. But I'm confident that I will still improve and that is why breaking the World record is the next step in my development. It will happen."

Source: Xinhua


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