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Pressure on Rudisha as he eyes on Diamond trophy in Zurich

28 August 2014, 13:16

Nairobi - Kenya's Olympic 800m Champion David Rudisha will eye to strike two birds with one stone, when he lines up on Thursday at the Zurich Diamond League meeting in Switzerland.

Rudisha has scores to settle with Africans world 800m champion Mohammed Aman (Ethiopia) and Botswana's Nijel Amos but above that he needs to run faster to secure the 50,000 U.S. dollar at stake for winning the Diamond Race in the final of the 14-leg competition.

Having lost to the two men on his return from one year injury sabbatical, Rudisha eyes a fast time that will blow away the opposition.

"This has been a difficult season for me. It's not easy to come back from an injury. I started training very late, in March. By then, I had missed a lot of necessary workouts. Maybe I expected to do better, but I was happy to run with these guys who had been training very well," Rudisha said on Wednesday.

"It's a challenge if you are not at 100 per cent. Actually, I am at 85, maybe 90 per cent of my form. But I can still run 1:43, probably 1:42 at this time," he added.

But time will not be essential than victory against the two athletes who have been his fiercest rivals this season so far.

After the race in Zurich, he will immerse himself in training and hope to emerge stronger to run in Birmingham over the 600m distance, also eyeing the world record.

"After Birmingham, I am sure that once I am back in my best shape, I can break the 600m world record. I am going to try again in any case," he said.

Zurich Diamond League will feature the very best in the distance with no fewer than 16 Diamond Races to be concluded on Thursday.

It's certainly difficult, almost impossible, to say which event is the most appealing with 13 world leaders, 15 newly crowned European champions, 11 2013 world champions, and 10 reigning Olympic champions on display, but perhaps the men's 800m is one of the leading candidates for being the pick of the bunch.

Rudisha leads the Diamond Race over two laps but faces a loaded field that includes his compatriot and world 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop, Ethiopia's world 800m champion Mohammed Aman, Botswana's Nijel Amos, who beat Rudisha to win the Commonwealth Games title last month, and Poland's newly crowned European champion Adam Kszczot.

What makes the multi-way battle even more intriguing is that no fewer than eight men could potentially win the Diamond Race with victory in Zurich.

In addition to the IAAF Diamond League disciplines, the meeting organisers are also staging a men's 100m which was originally going to be a showcase for Usain Bolt but, in the Jamaican's absence after he decided to end his season with his run in Warsaw on Saturday, the spotlight will be shone instead on the two British emerging talents, James Dasaolu and Adam Gemili, the European 100m and 200m champions respectively.

- Xinhua

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