David Rudisha has broken the world record of 800 metres in London with Kituum take third position.
David Rudisha of Kenya won the men's 800 metres Olympic title in London on Thursday 9th August, 2012 and set a stunning world record of 1min 40.91sec. The 23-year-old world champion was five metres clear of Nijel Amos of Botswana after taking control of the race from an early stage and charged down the home straight at the capacity crowd rose to their feet. Amos timed 1:41.73 - a world junior record for the 18-year-old - to win Botswana's first ever Olympic medal in athletics while another Kenyan Timothy Kitum took the bronze in a personal best of 1:42.53. It was the first world record in an 800m Olympic final since Cuba's Alberto Juantorena set the mark in the 1976 final. Rudisha revealed he had visited the Olympic Stadium earlier this year and was shown around by Sebastian Coe, whose world record in the event set in 1981 lasted for 16 years. "Lord Coe is a very good friend of mine and I was here early in February and he took me round the stadium and I said I would come here and run to make him proud," said Rudisha. "To come here and break the world record is something unbelievable. "I was well-prepared this year and I had no doubt about winning. But I was waiting for perfect conditions to break the world record because I knew this year I was in the shape to run 1.40. "But today the weather was beautiful so I decided just to go for it." Rudisha's father won Olympic silver in the 4x400 metres relay in 1968 in Mexico.
Rudisha's supreme talent had already drawn high praise from Coe, who ahead of the race had described Rudisha as "the outstanding 800m runner of his generation". Coe said afterwards it was one of the greatest races ever to have graced an Olympic Games. "That was simply an unbelievable performance," said Coe, a former world recordholder in the event but ironically never won an 800m Olympic gold, though he won two in the 1500 metres. "David Rudisha showed supreme physical and mental confidence to run like that in an Olympic final. "Instead of just doing enough to win the race he wanted to do something extraordinary and go for the world record as well. Coe added: "Rudisha's run will go down in history as one of the greatest Olympic victories. I feel privileged to have witnessed it in London." In what was probably overall the fastest 800m race of all time, seven of the eight finalists set personal bests -- Andrew Osagie's eighth-place time of 1:43.77 would have been good enough for gold in the 2008 Olympic final. Rudisha, who was already the world record holder with 1:41.01 set two years ago, set the pace from the start with Abubaker Kaki of Sudan and Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia in close pursuit. However, heading down the back stretch he kicked once and had Kaki and Aman struggling to stay in the hunt and another kick at the 300 metres mark had them fighting for the minor medals. Amos surged into second on the bend into the straight and fought gamely to reel in the Kenyan but in the end he settled for his historic silver. - AFP