Tag Archives: David Rudisha

Emmanuel Korir targets David Rudisha’s record next season

Tokyo Olympic 800m champion, Emmanuel Korir has set his focus on breaking the World record in the coming season.

The 27 year-old wrote his name in the history books, when he took the top honor in Tokyo and became the fifth Kenyan man (Paule Ereng, William Tanui, Wilfred Bungei and David Rudisha) to win the 800m title at the summer Games .

Korir who is also the reigning world 800m champion has had brilliant season and is ranked as the sixth fastest athlete of all time over the 800m, holding a lifetime best of 1:42.05 and is also the three-time Diamond League champion.

Korir who burst into the limelight at the 2016 Kenyan Championships where he secure a personal best of 1:46.94 that opened his doors for scholarship at the University of Texas in El Paso (UTEP) under the stewardship of his current coach, the 1988 Olympic 800m champion, Paul Ereng.

Korir has hinted that he will be going after two times Olympic 800m champion, David Rudisha’s World Record of 1:40.91 that he set at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

“I think next year, I would like to get to 1:41.00. If I can maintain the shape we can push to the World Record, It can be achieved, nothing is impossible. It just needs a proper plan,” said Korir.

The Elgeyo-Marakwet County born athlete who also holds the World Indoor 600m record was first discovered by renowned coach Brother Colm O’Connell, in 2011 while schooling at St. Francis Kimuron, the same high `school that Rudisha attended. At this particular time he was doing the 100m and 200m sprints but was convinced by the coach to take short races which suited him.

Korir who resides now in El Paso is the 2018 4×400m relay African champion. He also holds the second fastest time ever run on Kenyan soil of 44.21 that’s just 0.03 seconds shy off the 26 year long-standing 400m Kenya National Record that was set in 1992 in Barcelona by Samson Kitur.

The man who once almost fell into depression after a calf injury that put him out of active competition and lost sponsors, then dealing isolation after many of his friends dropped him, is planning to create more athletics history in the coming season and beyond as he targets to become the fourth man (Billy Konchellah,Wilson Kipketer and David Rudisha) to win two gold medals in 800m race at the World Championships.

Emmanuel Korir chasing third Diamond League Trophy

Olympic 800m champion, Emmanuel Korir will be the star to watch at the 12th leg of the Wanda Diamond League that will be held on from Thursday through Friday in Brussels, Belgium.

Korir proved himself when he cemented his name in the history books of the Diamond league last year when he lifted his second trophy in style beating the best of the best over the distance, will be looking to ink his name as the fourth athlete to lift the Diamond Trophy three times over the distance after Nijel Amos, David Rudisha and Mohammed Aman.

Korir who last season had been beaten twice by Sudan born now Canadian Marco Arop at the Prefontaine Classic and Lausanne Diamond League but he turned the tables in Zurich.

Korir will face the World bronze medallist together with the World silver medallist, Djamel Sedjati, from Algeria as they square it out for the final point-scoring opportunity ahead of the series finale that will held in September in Zurich.

The three will also face the wrath of the two times Commonwealth Games 800m champion, Wycliffe Kinyamal and the world 1500m champion, Jack Wightman from the Great Britain.

The organisers have assembled this deep field to try and chase the world-leading mark of 1:43.52 which has stood since mid-June.

Wilson Kipketer earns revenge on Nils Schumann to win 800m title

By the time Wilson Kipketer toed the line for Denmark at the 2002 European Athletics Championships in Munich’s Olympic Stadium his place in athletics history was already assured as a world record-holder and three-time world champion in the 800 metres.

But he still had a score to settle with Nils Schumann from Germany as well as with the European Athletics Championships, a stage which had not served Kipketer well over the years.

The Kenyan-born runner, talent-spotted by double Olympic champion Kip Keino and directed to the coaching of Father Colm O’Connell – who would later coach the Kenyan who currently holds the world 800m record David Rudisha – had achieved all his main career goals in the colours of Denmark.

The link occurred when Kipketer travelled to this Scandinavian country in 1990 as a foreign exchange student, studying electronic engineering, and liked it so much that he applied for Danish citizenship. However, his transfer was not in time for Kipketer to compete at the Helsinki 1994 European Athletics Championships where he would have been a significant favourite.

To witness the next chapter of Munich athletics history in person, visit here for ticket details

Kipketer seizes his chance in Gothenburg

In 1995, wearing Danish colours, he won the first of his three world titles in Gothenburg. But he was not yet a full Danish citizen and was thus unable to compete in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He remained unbeaten throughout that year, setting a personal best in Rieti of 1:41.83 – just a tenth of a second off Sebastian Coe’s 1981 world and European record – and beating all three Olympic medallists from Atlanta in the process.

In 1997 Kipketer’s graceful running reached sublime heights as he floated to consecutive world indoor records at the World Indoor Championships in Paris, smashing Paul Ereng’s mark of 1:44:84 with a time of 1:43.96 in the heats, and then taking more than a second off that mark as he ran 1:42.67. That mark still stands – and looks set to stand for the foreseeable – some 25 years later.

On 7 July Kipketer equalled Coe’s world record in Stockholm, and a month later successfully defended his world title, leading from start to finish in Athens. On 13 August, in Zurich, he claimed the world record for himself, running 1:41.24, and 11 days later he lowered that mark to 1:41.11 in Cologne.

In 1998 Kipketer contracted malaria and initially planned to miss the season, but he recovered sufficiently to contest the European title in Budapest. He reached the final but three races in quick succession proved too much at this point of his recovery and he faded out of the medal positions after Schumann, en route to victory, had bustled past him in the home straight.

“My defeat in Budapest at the European Championships was a shock. I came eighth in 1:51 and I couldn’t understand. Had I just run badly or were my opponents better or was I ill? Again I had to start again from zero. Everyone was running away from me, and I had to rebuild again.

“But it was by coming back a second time that I found my new inner strength and motivation, and my World Championships win in 1999 was the result,” reflected Kipketer in the ensuing years.

The opportunity to run at the Olympics, so tantalisingly close in 1996, arrived in 2000 as he contested the Sydney Games. But once again he met Schumann in inspired form. The German won his semifinal in a personal best of 1:44.22 and prevailed in the final as the fast-finishing Kipketer ran out of track at the end to earn silver, 0.06 adrift of the title.

One last hurrah in Munich

If Olympic gold was to prove beyond him, then the Munich 2002 European Athletics Championships offered him the chance of claiming the title he had missed out on in Budapest four years earlier. His chances were also heightened in the absence of Russia’s soon-to-be Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy, almost one decade the Dane’s junior, who surprisingly opted to contest the 400m instead.

And Kipketer, 29, made it clear he meant business as he qualified fastest for the final in 1:46.56, with Schumann winning the other semifinal in 1:48.01.

The final was slow and tactical. But on this occasion Kipketer, whose calculations had gone astray at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, got it right and came home in 1:47.25 courtesy of a last 200 metres of 25.38.

In second place was Switzerland’s reigning world champion Andre Bucher, who clocked 1:47.43, with his long-time nemesis Schumann having to settle for bronze on this occasion with 1:47.60.

Munich had offered Kipketer the opportunity to win what proved to be the last gold medal of his career although he did go on to win a bronze at the 2004 Olympics before announcing his retirement the following season, thus allowing a new 800m champion to be anointed the following year in Gothenburg.

“I am so happy to come back in winning-mode after so many problems. This first European gold medal is for me a great satisfaction.  The first lap was very slow as I expected so I kicked 200 metres before the line and controlled it,” said Kipketer.

Kipketer became only the second Dane to win a European title on the track, following in the footsteps of Niels Holst Sørensen who won 400m gold and 800m silver at the 1946 European Athletics Championships.

Following in Kipketer’s footsteps

A third Danish gold medal came on the track at the 2016 European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam where the now-retired Sara Slott Pedersen became the first Danish woman to win a European title with gold in the 400m hurdles.

And while Denmark might not have too many surefire medal prospects in Munich two decades after Kipketer won 800m gold in the same stadium, it is not an exaggeration to say that athletics in Denmark has seldom been in better health.

Danish national records have tumbled on the track and on the in-field this summer. There will be particularly keen interest in their men’s and women’s 4x100m relay teams who both qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games last summer (the Danish men even reached the Olympic final in the Japanese capital) and in the progress of Ida Karstoft in the 200m who has improved from 23.39 to 22.67 this year.

And the Munich 2022 European Athletics Championships will also provide us with our first glimpse of 17-year-old Axel Vang Christensen on the senior stage. The reigning European U20 cross country champion broke one of the longest-standing European U20 records on the books with 8:29.12 in the 3000m steeplechase in June.

Source: european-athletics.com

Emmanuel Wanyonyi to face Nijel Amos in Ostrava

World U20 800m champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi, who is the fourth fastest athlete this year will be the star to watch at the Ostrava Golden Spike Meeting which is a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold level –series that will be held on Tuesday (31) at Vitovice Stadium in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Wanyonyi, a form four student at the AIC Kosirai High School in Nandi County, will be making his debut internationally after beating the Olympic silver medallist Ferguson Rotich early this month at the Kip Keino Classic that was held at the Kasarani stadium in Nairobi.

The 17 year-old who holds a championship record of 1:43.76 that he set last year will battle for honors with Olympic bronze medallist Patryk Dobek from Poland who comes to this race with a life time best of 1:43.73, that he got last year at the ORLEN Janusz Kusocinski Memorial,where he took the honors.

Wanyonyi will also face the 2012 Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos from Botswana who comes to this race with the sixth fastest time in the world of 1:43.73 that he got when he finished behind David Rudisha at the 2012 London Olympic Games where the latter set the world 800m record of 1:40.91. The two-time world medallist Amel Tuka from Bosnia and Herzegovina will also be fighting for the top honors.

European U20 record holder Max Burgin from Britain will be making his return to Ostrava Golden Spike after suffering an injury that has kept him away from active racing. The 20 year-old set his record of 1:44.14 at this meeting last year.

Noah Kibet reigns in 800m race in Doha

World U20 silver medallist Noah Kibet for the second time in a week beat Olympic 1500m silver medallist, Ferguson Rotich at the ongoing Doha Diamond League Meeting that is being held this evening (Friday 13) in Doha, Qatar.

The 18 year-old who is also the reigning World Indoor silver medallist crossed the finish line in a life time best of 1:49.08.

The KipKeiono continental champion was followed by Peter Bol from Australia who crossed the line in 1:49.35 with Pan American Games champion Marco Arop closing the podium three finishes in 1:49.56.

European U23 silver medallist champion, Daniel Rowden and the race favorite, Rotich finished in fourth and fifth place in a 1:49.56 and 1:50.48 respectively.

The world lead time of 1:43.69 was set by Zahafi Moad from Morocco last month at the Percy Beard Track, Gainesville, while the Meeting Record of 1:43.00 held by David Rudisha remained untouched.

LEADING TIME

800M MEN

  1. Noah Kibet          (KEN) 1:49.08
  2. Peter Bol              (AUS) 1:49.35
  3. Marco Arop         (CAN) 1:49.51
  4. Daniel Rowden   (GRT)  1:49.56
  5. Ferguson Rotich  (KEN) 1:50.48

David Rudisha runs into murky politics

Double Olympic champion and 800M world record holder, David Rudisha will be vying for Kilgoris parliamentary seat as an independent candidate in the August 9 polls.

The 33 year-old was cleared to run for the seat by the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Rudisha will also have to resign from the police force to be able to venture into the murky waters of politics as he seeks to succeed Kilgoris MP Mr. Gideon Konchellah, who has shifted gears and focus to the Narok senatorial seat.

Rudisha will face seven other aspirants who are fighting for the vacant seat. They include former Internal Security Minister Mr Julius Sunkuli, former National Environment Management Authority (Nema) board chairperson Mr John Dalton Konchellah, and former Rift Valley Education Director Mr John Ololtua.

In a clearance letter by the IEBC, the two time world 800m champion has been cleared to vie for the Kilgoris seat.

The letter further reveals that the 2014 commonwealth Games silver medallist doesn’t subscribe to any political party and that he would vie as an independent candidate.

“Reference is made to the subject matter and your letter dated 29 April 2022 on the intention to contest election as Member of National Assembly, Kilgoris Constituency. Pursuant to Article 85 of the Constitution and Section 34(fa) of the Political Parties Act 2011, David Lekuta Rudisha, is not a member of any registered party.”

The 2006 World champion was forced out of active running due to his long standing groin injury.

Rudisha is the first and only person to ever run 800m under 1:41 and he holds the three fastest, six of the eight fastest, and half of the twenty fastest times ever run in this event.

Ferdinand Omurwa Omanyala joins the Kenya Police

Kenya’s sensational sprinter and Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omurwa Omanyala has joined the National Police Service (NPS).

The 25-year-old athlete a second-year Bachelor of Science student at the University of Nairobi rose to stardom in Lagos Nigeria where he clocked 10.01 seconds on 30th March 2021 at an athletic event dubbed the ‘Making of Champions (MOC) Grand Prix’ where he met the qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The rugby-player-turned-sprinter warmed up hearts of Kenyans by clocking an impressive African best time of 9.77 seconds breaking the 9.85s record that had been set by Akuni Sembine from South Africa at the Kip-Keino Classics that was held at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in September.

Omanyala was briefed on his new role this morning when he called on the Inspector General, Mr. Hilary Mutyambai at his Jogoo house office.

The Kenya National Record holder joins a pool of other elite athletes in the National Police Service including the likes of David Rudisha, Joshua Kamworor, Vivian Cheruiyot, Julius Yego, and the legendary Ezekiel Kemboi etc.

Speaking at the brief ceremony, Omanyala thanked the National Police Service and the Government for supporting talent and he promised to repay this kindness with success in the track events.

‘It is an honor to serve the National Police Service and I promise to give my best as an athlete,” he added, ‘I also understand that there is life after sprinting.”

The IG urged Omanyala to maintain his sporting discipline for him to utilize his full potential and at the same time deliver on his new role as a police athlete.

Brother Colm recognised for coaching in Kenya

Brother Colm O’Connell says it is a “tremendous honour” to receive an award from the Irish government for his work coaching athletes in Kenya.

The Catholic brother is among 11 recipients of this year’s Presidential Distinguished Service Award, which recognise the contributions of the Irish diaspora.

He has spent over 40 years coaching middle- and long-distance runners in the east African country, nurturing world and Olympic champions and world record holders including double Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha.

“It’s incredible and unbelievable that I should be selected,” O’Connell told BBC Sport Africa.

“It is the highest honour a person can get, especially people from the diaspora.

“I often wonder sometimes how somebody who lives in a remote village in Kenya can be singled out. It’s a tremendous honour and very, very special.”

A Catholic missionary in Iten

Originally from County Cork, Brother Colm’s association with Kenya began in 1976 when he joined the staff of St Patrick’s High School in Iten.

The school for boys, which was was set up by Irish missionaries and built on a hillside overlooking the Rift Valley, went on to establish a world-class track and field record.

Brother Colm’s first Olympic success came in 1988 when Peter Rono, then aged 21, became the youngest-ever winner of the 1500m at the Seoul Games.

Matthew Birir and Brimin Kipruto, both winners of the Olympic 3,000m steeplechase title, also worked under O’Connell.

He also developed female talent such as two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat and former world 800m champions Janeth Jepkosgei and Eunice Sum.

O’Connell with Rudisha in 2012 before the Olympics, where the Kenyan won gold with a world-record time

“The coaching of Kenyan athletes, and particularly in the area of youth – identifying young talent and nurturing it – has been very much part of my aim right from the beginning,” he said.

“I think that’s one area I really came very far in. The success at the top level came as a progression from the young people that I was coaching.

“Maybe one of the most satisfactory things was the development of the women athletes in my group. That is something that I’m very proud of.

“I would like to think that, as a person working in Kenya, I had an impact on young people’s lives through athletics – using it to add value to young people’s lives, to give them a future, hope and values.”

‘My biggest satisfaction is the lives I’ve impacted’

Brother Colm, now in his early 70s, has found a balance between keeping his Irish roots alive and embracing life in Kenya, he says.

“I’ve always felt part of my Irish community, and I think that has been a strength to me because there is strength in diversity,” he said.

“I’ve always felt very encouraged by the support I’ve been given by my family and community in Ireland. And of course, I had a very high level of integration into the Kenyan community.

“That has played a huge role in helping me to reach the level [I have], between being Irish and being Kenyan.”

He previously received a coaching achievement award from World Athletics in 2019 and also has a street named after him in Iten.

“I have been recognized locally, and I appreciate that,” he added.

“But I didn’t come to Iten to find an achievement. In a sense, my biggest satisfaction is the athletes themselves and the people’s lives I have impacted.”

Brother Colm will be presented with the award by Irish President Michael D. Higgins at a ceremony on 2 December.

Interview with Brother Colm O’Connell by BBC Sport Africa’s Lynne Wachira.

Mourners, athletes demand justice Agnes Tirop at funeral

Olympic running greats came together on Saturday to bid farewell to rising Kenyan star Agnes Tirop, whose murder earlier this month sent shockwaves across the nation and the athletics world.

A double world championships bronze medallist tipped for future stardom on the track, Tirop was buried in a white casket in central Kenya on what would have been her 26th birthday.

Her body was found on October 13 with stab wounds in the bedroom of her home in Iten, a high-altitude training hub for top-class athletes.

Tirop’s husband appeared in court this week as a suspect in her killing after being arrested and remanded in custody.

Among the mourners gathered in Mosoriot, Tirop’s childhood village about 30 kilometres (18 miles) south of Eldoret, were two-time Kenyan Olympic champion David Rudisha and fellow gold medallists Joshua Cheptegei and Peruth Chemutai of Uganda.

Many in the congregation wore the signature red shirts of Athletics Kenya, which described Tirop as a “jewel” and one of the fastest-rising stars on the international running circuit.

Her death sparked outpourings of grief and condolences from Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, but also anger at a life taken so young.

Impassioned speakers at her funeral demanded swift justice for Tirop, and huge crowds marched in Eldoret on Friday calling for an end to violence against women.

Tirop’s death has thrown a spotlight on the pressures faced by the country’s female athletes who pay a huge — and often tragic — price for their spectacular success in a male-dominated society.

Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo also came today as we lay our girl Agnes Tirop to rest. PHOTO: COURTESY

“The injustice against female athletes here in Kenya is a threat to all of us athletes all over the world,” said Olympic 5000 metres champion Cheptegei.

“We are here in solidarity to show that we condemn such acts in such a manner.”

Athletics Kenya announced on Saturday that the Kenyan leg of the World Cross Country Tour would be named after Tirop.

Born to a peasant farming family, Tirop launched her athletics career less than a decade ago but swiftly ran up a host of second-place finishes in national and international cross country races.

She went on to become one of Kenya’s rising stars — as the 2015 world cross-country champion, a two-time world medallist over 10000m, and came fourth over 5000m at the Tokyo Olympics this year.

Sebastian Coe: Let’s embrace great transition

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has hinted that athletes transition is the best idea a country and a federation can ever have.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Kasarani stadium ahead of world under 20 athletics championships at the Moi International Sports Cenre, Kasarani, Coe said that the main challenge at the world athletics is maintaining the transition.

Despite the world going through the COVID-19 challenges, they could not go for more than five years without the junior championships.

“We always have such great athletes in the under 18 and under 20 but a few of them fail to represent their country or federations as senior athletes. I want to urge coaches and federations to ensure a good transition. Athletes should be inspired and federations funded to help junior athletes to deliver. To achieve this, we have to be keen, maintaining the relationship with coaches to spend time with them, especially training athletes at a young age of 18 years to senior ranks,” said Coe, the former 800m Olympic Games champion.

He added that coaches have a difficult time in preparing such great athletes especially for the schools and talents.

“We always support federation whenever they have initiative to engage coaches, especially those who want transit into senior coaching, by impressing them to take athletes to greater heights, “added Coe.

However, on a light note, Coe pointed out that it pains the world 800m record holder David Rudisha who broke his world record.

“It pains me to say so but on a light note, but Rudisha did marvelously during the London Olympic Games in 2021. He started from such championships way back in 2006 and went on to win major championships,” said Coe adding that the championships are the big moment for the athletics calendar of the year in athletics where over a 1000 athletes that include Refugee team.

He rekindled the 2017 world under 18 championships at the same venue that connected, describing it as ‘fantastic’.

“It is unfortunate, with obvious reasons that we will not have the noisy passionate informed fans that Kenyans athletics has always produced. Nothingness, this will be an outstanding championship. Athletics in Kenya is a religion and my career was so defined by great Kenyan athletes and there were so many medalists from such championships from credible levels,” he said.