SYDNEY, (Reuters) – David Rudisha is proud to be a 800 metres world champion, proud to be a world record holder but as much as anything is proud of being a Maasai and desperate to secure a first Olympic gold medal for his tribe later this year. The 23-year-old Kenyan, whose father Daniel was the first Maasai to compete at the Olympics and won a relay silver in 1968, has ruled the 800 metres for the last three years and will be odds on favourite to win the title in London on Aug. 9.
“The Olympics is a special event and winning is very important,” Rudisha told Reuters in an interview. “For me as a world record holder and world champion, the only thing I am missing is the Olympic gold medal and that is what I want to achieve in my career.”
There are some who believe that Rudisha should be as big a star in the firmament of athletics as Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt after single-handedly rescuing the two lap race from the domination of tactical sprint finishers.
Rudisha shattered Wilson Kipketer’s 13-year-old world record in 2010 and improved it again the following week as he went unbeaten for 34 meets until the end of last season, including his victory at the world championships in Daegu.