Rudisha targets gold ahead of world record
07 August 2012, 08:25
David Rudisha has ruled out an attempt on his 800m world record at
the London Olympics after comfortably winning his heat on Monday.
Rudisha, whose world record stands at one minute 41.01 seconds, is
the overwhelming favourite to take the 800m title in London after
missing out on selection for Beijing four years ago through injury.
“The track is fast. It looks good,” the 23-year-old world champion told reporters through a translator.
“In this championship I don’t look at the record. It is a medal that I
want. Once I get the medal, toward the end of the season I can think
about the record.”
Algerian Taoufik Makhloufi’s brief appearance in the 800 heats
appears to have dashed his medal hopes in the 1,500 after he was
disqualified from all further events in the athletics competition
because the referee considered that he had not provided a bona fide
Makhloufi, who beat champion Asbel Kiprop in Tuesday’s semi-final of
the 1,500, jogged for 200m before stepping off the track. He had been
confirmed in the two-lap race by his team the previous day and so had to
run, the IAAF said.
It was a different story for Australia’s gold medal favourite Sally
Pearson, who went all out in the 100 hurdles to record the fastest
first-round time at an Olympics with 12.57 seconds.
But there were tears for women’s 1,500 medal hopeful Genzebe Dibaba,
younger sister of Ethiopia’s 10,000 champion Tirunesh, who was taken off
the track in a wheelchair clutching her hamstring after struggling in
Belarussian Nadezhda Ostapchuk topped qualifying for the women’s shot
put with 20.76m just ahead of her arch rival, world and Olympic
champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand (20.40).
There was also plenty of home success in the morning qualifiers to
keep the cheers rolling around the stadium. Lawrence Okoye sealed a
place in Tuesday’s discus final with a throw of 65.28.
“The whole team is feeling pretty positive at the moment, the story’s
going round about how the crowd is unbelievable and I witnessed it
myself today,” said Britain’s Andrew Osagie.