Chanman's Blog

800 Meter World Record – David Rudisha, 1:41.09!

Posted in International Track & Field,Race/Meet Report by Andy Chan on August 25, 2010
Tags: , ,

The stadium in Berlin where the 800 meter world record was set. Photo taken at the 2009 World Championships.

Last Sunday, August 22, 2010, in Berlin, David Rudisha set a new world record in the 800 meters, running 1:41.09, two one hundredths of a second faster than the previous record by Wilson Kipketer in 1997.

Rudisha’s record run was not necessarily unexpected. Earlier this summer when Rudisha clocked a 1:41.51, I wrote a blog that included the short list of runners who have run sub-1:42 in the 800. Rudisha has seemed primed to go after the record since July. Shortly before the record run, Rudisha’s agent James Templeton sent an e-mail that outlined Rudisha’s race plans:

“There are some good races still to come (Berlin, Brussels, Rieti, Split … yes of course he will run some of these starting with Berlin) and he has been training well since (the) African Championships in order (to) come out and impress in these last weeks. You might recall he had a great finish to last year and that is his intention again this year …If he had come straight from Nairobi and run Stockholm and London I dare say he would be fading by season-end. This way he comes into them fresh and hungry to run fast. I would have thought that is prudent. No it does not come down to money; we’ve had a good season and there is a good bit left in the tank.”

It appears that Rudisha likes to take a break from racing in the middle of the summer to concentrate on training. Then he comes back and ends the season with some of his fastest times.

In the aftermath of his record run there has been a media frenzy. My favorite links from the media frenzy are:

–          Post-race article about Rudisha bringing the world record to Kenya.

–          An article about Rudisha’s proud father, himself an Olympic silver medalist.

–          A blog entry from that discusses 800 meter pacing and the need to run a 49 second first lap in order to run 1:41.

–          A list complied by Track & Field News of 400 meter splits in all the 800 meter world record runs since 1932 when the record went sub-1:50.

The excitement in the 800 meters may not be over yet. If you watch the above linked videos of Rudisha’s new world record and Kipketer’s world record from 1997 you notice that both runners had rabbits for the first part of the race but ran alone and way ahead of the field over the last 200 meters. Just think how fast Rudisha might run if he were pushed. That could be the case when he races against Sudan’s Abubaker Kaki in Brussels on Friday. Then, on Sunday in the Athletics meeting in Rieti, he will have pace makers to attempt to improve on his own world record. Could we see the first sub-1:41?

Don’t miss this great 800 meter action.

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