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Kenya’s David Rudisha: Record breaker… medal collector

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David Rudisha was born on 17 December, 1988 in Kilgoris, Trans Mara District, to Daniel and Tamisha Rudisha. David Rudisha inherited his father’s running skills as the former was equally a prolific athlete in the 4˟ 400m relay, a 1968 Olympic Games silver medalist. Rudiha started collecting medals in 2005, barely a year after he got into athletics. That year, he competed at the African Junior Championship hosted by Tanzania in Arusha. He took part in the 400m race and finished second. Following the advice from his coach at the time, the Kenyan track and field man switched from 400m to the 800m event. Since then, it has been a succession of success stories. At the 2006 edition of the African Championship, Rudisha set a new personal record (1:46.03). Later that same year, he snatched a gold medal from his compatriot, Jackson Kivuva, at the World Junior Championships in Peking. His brilliant performance at competitions earned him the nick name “The Pride of Africa”. In 2007, he towered at the Brussels Meeting running as fast as 1:45.00 and then went ahead to grab another top spot on the podium in Ouagadougou at the African Junior Championships. At the African Championships that took place in Addis Ababa the following year, “The Pride of Africa” proved those who nick named him, right by beating Sudanese, Ismail Ahmed Ismail and his compatriot, Asbel Kiprop to the finish line. An ankle injury picked up during training cut short his career for the year and denied him a place in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing but by then he had already set a record of the year which no athlete broke. When he came back in 2009, he stuttered at first, occupying the fourth position at the Hengelo Meeting then failing to reach the finals of World Championships in Berlin. By September, when he had regained form, he set a new world record at Rieti — 1:42.01 — 7th best of all time in the 800m event. 2010 was his golden year as he recorded the best world’s performance (1:41.01)

David Rudisha’s thighs have made him one of Kenya’s most outstanding athletes. Apart from holding the best time record in the 800m event, he has also won the Male Athlete of the Year Award from the IAAF. With at least 9 major international titles, Rudisha is not only Kenya’s but Africa’s hopes and aspirations during the year’s Olympics Games.

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