After being forced to take a months-long break from running, Kenya's David Rudisha had to miss out Weltklasse Zürich 2013. He now returns to Letzigrund Stadium – with a smile and as a leader in the 800m Diamond Race.
It will be his fifth appearance in Zurich. He would like to win for the third time – and end a difficult, yet impressive comeback season on a positive note.
It takes courage and passion to compete at the highest level knowing that you are not quite back to your former self. Especially, if you are David Rudisha and had a reputation of being virtually unbeatable until two years ago.
“I am at 85, maybe 90% of my former shape. Due to my knee injury, I missed a lot of training. I only started to prepare for the season in March,” Rudisha explained.
Despite this very brief preparation time, the 26-year-old Masai and his coach Brother Colm O’Connell decided that it was best to compete again and to integrate races into his long-term training schedule.
As long as I understand why I have been beaten, I can live with defeat. And even though I am not in the shape of my life, I can keep up with the best athletes in my event - [Rudisha]
Thus, Rudisha competed in the IAAF Diamond League winning the races in New York and Glasgow, and he also participated in this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where he placed second behind Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos of Botswana.
“As long as I understand why I have been beaten, I can live with defeat. And even though I am not in the shape of my life, I can keep up with the best athletes in my event. I am glad about that, particularly when I think of the world championships next year. It’s just a matter of time before I am back in full shape.”
His next race will be the IAAF Diamond League final at Letzigrund Stadium. Five athletes are still contenders for the diamond; David Rudisha is one of them. And he has a score to settle: Two years ago, he was beaten by Mohammed Aman from Ethiopia.
“The 800m at Weltklasse Zürich will be my last race this year. It would be great if I could close the season by winning a diamond trophy. This race will be about winning. I don’t expect a crazy fast race. But I look forward to running fast again in the future.”