Rudisha ready for UK race
10 July 2014, 20:35
London - Kenya's David Rudisha will compete in the UK for the first time in nearly two years in what has to be one of the most anticipated 800m races of the season.
The 25-year-old who shattered records when he won gold at the 2012 London Olympics will compete in Sainsbury's Glasgow Grand Prix which is the ninth of the 2014 IAAF Diamond League meetings.
Temporarily switched from its traditional home in London while the Olympic Stadium is reconfigured to accommodate football, the two-day meeting at Hampden Park is the first ever Diamond League event to be held in Scotland and doubles as a rather high-class test event for the Commonwealth Games, whose athletics programme will be held in the same 111-year-old venue – itself a football ground re-jigged for the occasion.
The former world junior, two-time African, world and current Olympic champion will be racing on Saturday for only the third time this season after an injury curtailed his season in 2013.
A rather excited Rudisha said on the IAAFs website that he was looking to build on his victory in New York a month ago.
“I haven't competed in the UK since winning gold at the Olympics, so to return to the UK for the Glasgow Grand Prix is something I'm really excited about,” said Rudisha.
“Winning gold at the Olympic Games and being the first ever athlete to go below the 1:41 barrier is my biggest achievement to date. Having only just returned to track action, my victory in New York has given me a lot of confidence and something I will take with me to Hampden Park.
“The Glasgow Grand Prix will give me the best possible preparation for the Commonwealth Games. I know the field will include not only the best athletes in the Commonwealth, but the world too. I know I will have to perform at my best to secure another victory.”
A second Diamond League win would put Rudisha on top of the men's 800m standings, although he may well have to improve on his New York time of 1:44.63, nearly four seconds outside his world record.
In Glasgow, he will face three men who have run quicker this year, including one of his Commonwealth rivals, South Africa's Andre Olivier, and fellow Kenyan Job Kinyor, who won the Diamond League race in Eugene at the end of May when Rudisha was seventh.