David Rudisha Runs 1:41.01 In Rieti, Second 800m World Record In A Week
August 29, 2010
*LRC Rieti Photo Gallery
David Rudisha likes running on Sunday.
The second Sunday in a row Rudisha broke the world record at 800m. This time it was in Rieti, Italy, as Rudisha ran 1:41.01 to lower his record of 1:41.09 set last Sunday in Berlin.
Just like in Berlin, Rudisha had his training partner, Sammy Tangui, as the rabbit. The difference in Rieti was Rudisha also had some help from Jackson Kivuva, who seemed to serve as a second rabbit. Tangui led Rudisha and Tangui through 400m in 48.20 which was .45 faster than in Berlin. Rudisha was off the pace a bit (just as he was in Berlin), but this time in third behind Tangui and Kivuva.
In Berlin, Rudisha had to run the last 350 meters on his own. Here he did not take the lead until roughly 510m into the race. Once he had the lead, Kivuva kept running hard trying to stay close to Rudisha. We're under the assumption the Rieti organizers told him to do this, just so Rudisha could feel someone was chasing him (Kivuva actually finished the race in 2:23).
Rudisha hit the 600m in 1:14.59 (.05 slower than in Berlin). Now it was a race against the clock. Boaz Lalang was running a strong race in second, so Rudisha was not as far our in front as he was in Berlin (where he won by over 3 seconds).
Rudisha powered home in his lime green uniform and leaned at the line. 1:41.01!!! A new world record and agonizingly close to the first 1:40 clocking in the world.
The Rieti track is known for its fast times. This was the 8th world record set at the track (Daniel Komen's 7:20.67 3,000m record still stands, but there have been records from 100m through 3k). The fast times extended to the finishers behind Rudisha. Boaz Lalang, who in 2008 went from Rend Lake College to the Kenyan Olympic team, was second in 1:42.95, Nick Symmonds, the American champ, lowered his PR to 1:43.76 (1:43.83 previous best), and Michael Rimmer of Great Britain took a big chunk of time off his PR, running 1:43.89 (1:44.49 previous best).
It's worth noting that in 1997 when the previous world record holder Wilson Kipketer lowered the mark to 1:41.11, that he also broke the record twice in August, just as Rudisha has in 2010. In 1997, Kipketer actually set the world record three times, as he ran 1:41.73 on July 7th in Rome to tie Seb Coe's world record before running 1:41.24 in Zurich on August 13th and 1:41.11 in Cologne on August 24th.
Afterwards, Rudisha was obviously pleased. He told AFP, "I just knew I was in good shape. The conditions were perfect. I expected to break two records in seven days." He added, "I cannot say now what I need to improve. I will see in training with my coach what I can improve but I think I need to change only small details." Rudisha's coach, Brother Colm OConnell, was on hand for the record in Rieti.
Results and video of the race below (note the official results do not show Lalang's time as a personal best, but it is).
1 28 RUDISHA David Lekuta KEN 6 1:41.01 WR
2 27 LALANG Boaz Kiplagat KEN 4 1:42.95 PB
3 31 SYMMONDS Nick USA 3 1:43.76 PB
4 25 RIMMER Michael GBR 2 1:43.89 PB
5 30 LEWANDOWSKI Marcin POL 5 1:44.10 SB
6 24 CASADO Arturo ESP 1 1:44.74
7 26 KIVUVA Jackson Mumbwa KEN 7 2:23.39
29 TANGUI Sammy KEN 8 DNF
Intermediate times: 400m 48.20 29 TANGUI Sammy (KEN)
600m 1:14.59 28 RUDISHA David Lekuta (KEN)
Temperature: 29 °C Humidity: 33 % Conditions: Sunny
Video: Rudisha's 1:41.01!