DAEGU, South Korea, (Reuters) – World record holder David Rudisha won gold in the men’s 800 metres at the world championships yesterday with a dominant display of front running.
The rangy Kenyan, who broke the world record twice in a week in 2010, took the title in a time of 1:43.91 ahead of Abubaker Kaki of Sudan. The bronze medal went to Russian Yuriy Borzakovskiy.
“Winning the world title is very important to me, more important than the world record” the 22-year-old Masai told reporters.
“The title will remain with you for the rest of your life but the record can be broken.”
Rudisha is unbeaten over the distance in two years, his last loss coming when he failed to qualify for the 2009 world championship final in Berlin.
He made his intention clear from the start, outpacing Kaki at the line break to settle in comfortably at the front of the field away from trouble.
Double world indoor champion Kaki tucked in behind the languid Kenyan, and looked trapped when Borzakovskiy moved up on his shoulder before Rudisha pulled away down the back stretch.
“I controlled the race from the start, that was my plan, I did not want to make a mistake,” he added. “And I also knew that I was in good shape. Nevertheless, I spared my energy until the last 150m.”
Kaki’s rivalry with Rudisha looks set to reach new heights at the London Olympics next year.
“David Rudisha is a friend. He’s been dominating last year and this year,” said Kaki, who squeezed into the final after a setting a suicidal pace in the semi-final.
“I am happy for him and these two medals are for Africa. I will continue to race for northern Sudan.”
South Sudan declared independence on July 9, after southerners overwhelmingly voted to secede from the north in a January referendum.