Rudisha in Sydney 400m
Tue, 31 Jan 02:47:00 2012
David Rudisha, Kenya's 800 metres world champion and world record holder, will kick off his 2012 season in two meetings in Sydney and Melbourne over the next month, Athletics Australia said on Tuesday.
After claiming the world title with an impressive display of front-running in South Korea last August, the 23-year-old will be a strong favourite to claim his first Olympic gold in London on Aug. 9.
Rudisha, who will run the 400 metres at the Sydney Track Classic on Feb. 18 and step up to the two-lap race in Melbourne on March 2-3, said he was looking forward to commencing his season Down Under, as he has for the last two years.
"The people are friendly, the meets are good and it works as a very good start to my year," he said in a news release.
"This year we of course have the Olympic Games and that is the big focus for all athletes but I want to run well throughout the year."
Rudisha, who set his 800m world record time of one minute 41.01 seconds in Italy in 2010, said running the 400m in Sydney could lead to a bid to run in the relay in London.
"My personal best in the 400m is still from when I ran in Sydney two years ago, so I'm hoping that I can maybe lower that time," he added.
"People have asked me if I will run on our 4x400 relay team, at the moment all I can say is that anything is possible but the focus for me is the 800. Having won the world championships I of course want to add that Olympic title."
Re: Rudisha in Sydney 400m
It's great David will race in Oz yet again but given the Sydney and Melbourne meets are designated as compulsory participation events for Aussie athletes under the Olympic Team Selection Criteria, I think it is extremely problematic that he and US sprinter Greg Nixon will be allocated two of the nine lanes in the Sydney 400m which is also the final meet before the actual trials-proper in Melbourne on March 1-3. So that leaves seven lanes for the locals who are all hopeful of making a potential six-man 4x400m squad. The Oz 4x4 men have qualified already for London (although need a strong second performance to shore up that Olympic entry).
AA needs to decide whether it is about entertainment or high performance when it comes to these meets. Certainly the answer is that it is about both but under the circumstances of these meets being prescribed de facto Olympic trials, especially in a short season effectively ending a month from today, it is problematic when locals are denied a lane and thereby opportunity for London representation...