World 800m record-holder and champion, David Rudisha of Kenya clocked an impressive 1:41.33 on a hot afternoon at the stadio Guidobaldi in Rieti, Italy yesterday.
The 2010 IAAF World Athlete of the Year set the third fastest time of his career after his clockings of 1:41.01 in Rieti and 1:41.09 in Berlin last year, missing his own World record by 0.32 seconds on his favourite track to highlight a memorable 41st edition of the Rieti IAAF World Challenge meeting.
Rudisha has now run three of the five fastest times in history (the other two were set by former World record holder Wilson Kipketer of Denmark with 1:41.11 and 1:41.24).
In Rudisha’s wake, Poland’s World Championships finalist and European Indoor champion Adam Kszczot set the fastest time of his career clocking 1:43.30.
More fast times followed, with this year’s World Youth silver medallist and World Championships finalist Mohammed Aman from Ethiopia smashing the World Youth best and the national record with a hugely impressive 1:43.37 in the process beating former World champion Alfred Kirwa Yego who ran his seasonal best finishing fourth in 1:44.07.
In total, seven men dipped under 1:45 living up to Rieti’s reputation as the temple of middle distance running. Poland’s world finalist Marcin Lewandowski (1:44.53 seasonal best), Jackson Kivuva (1:44.53) and Australia’s Jeffrey Riseley (1:44.64) rounded out the top-seven of another superb 800 metres race.
"The pace was ok. I felt in record shape but it was too fast in the 200 metres split between 400 and 600 metres," said Rudisha.
"The conditions were perfect. Daegu was hard but I did not feel tired because I had time to recover. I will run in Brussels (16 September) and at the Notturna di Milano (18 September). Whether I attack the World record, it depends on how my body feels," he added.
Kiprop surpasses Kiplagat’s time
Asbel Kiprop, another of the newly crowned World champions in Daegu, set the world seasonal best at 1500m with 3:30.46 which improved Silas Kiplagat’s previous best time of 3:30.47 set in Monte-Carlo on 22 July.
Pacemaker Andrew Rotich paced Kiprop to a very fast 400 metres in 54:56 and 1:49.61 at the 800 metres mark. Then Kiprop ran alone against the clock pushing hard in the remaining 700 metres.
He went through at 1200 metres in 2:46.61. Kiprop, only seventh in Zurich on Thursday, romped home in 3:30.46, setting the fastest time of his career. Nick Willis from New Zealand, Olympic silver medallist in Bejing, finished a distant second in 3:35.52.
“I feel excited. The conditions were excellent and the pace was good. It’s important to finish the season as World champion and world leader. I know that I can run faster. My last race will be the 800 metres in Brussels,” said Kiprop.