Rudisha to debut in 1000m as Kipruto pulls out

David Rudisha on his way to 800m victory in Doha (PHOTO/IAAF/Jiro Mochizuki)
David Rudisha on his way to 800m victory in Doha (PHOTO/IAAF/Jiro Mochizuki)

Two-time Olympic 800m Champion David Rudisha joins five other Olympic gold medalist at the Ostrava Golden Spike, an IAAF World Challenge Meeting in the Czech Republic on Wednesday.

Rudisha will make his debut in the men’s 1000m as he sets his sights on defending his world title in London this August.

Compatriot, 3000m-steeplechase Rio Olympic gold medalist Conseslus Kipruto, was also expected to light up the two-day meet but withdrew due to a lingering ankle injury.

The Beijing World Championships silver medalist who was targeting to improve on his world lead-time of 8:04.6   confirmed his withdrawal on Facebook.

Rudisha on his part faces strong opposition from Nicholas Kiplangat who has a personal best of 1:43.37 and 2:16.68 credentials over 800m and 1000m from last year.

Last week, ‘King David’ requested Athletics Kenya (AK) to exempt him from the IAAF World Athletics Championship trials as he works on the last minute preparations for the biennial showpiece at the English capital in August 4-13.

This season, 19-year-old former World Junior Champion Kipyegon Bett stunned Rudisha during Shanghai Diamond League meeting in May as their fellow countrymen took top five positions. Rudisha finished fourth with a then season best of 1:45.17.

In his second race of the season during the Racers Grand Prix in Jamaica, Rudisha was once again beaten by 19-year-old Willy Tarbei a former World Youth Champion. Rudisha, lowered his season best to 1:44.90 against Tarbei’s 1:44.86.

 -Kipruto pull out-

Kipruto successively secured his ticket in Team Kenya with hopes of upgrading his Beijing silver to a gold medal. The 23-year-old Olympic record holder will focus on his ankle recovery as the World Championships edge closer.

Meanwhile, London Olympics bronze medalist Abel Kirui will take charge in extending Kenya’s dominance over the 3,000m steeplechase event.

Kirui will team up with 2015 African Junior Champion Abraham Kibiwott, Eugene World Junior Champion Barnabas Kipyego , 2013 World Youth bronze medalist Justus Kipkorir Lagat and Benjamin Kigen.

Former World Youth bronze medalist Alexander Mutiso Munyao, Isamael Kipngetich, Mathew Kipkorir Kimeli, Bernard Kimeli and Alfred Chelal will try their luck in dethroning four-time Olympics Champion and five-time World Champion Mo Farah, in the men’s 10,000m event.

Material from the IAAF.ORG was used to compile this report.

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Story By Charity Wanja
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