American sprint legend picks David Rudisha's record at 2012 Olympics as highlight of the games

American sprint legend picks David Rudisha's record at 2012 Olympics as highlight of the games

Mark Kinyanjui 21:31 - 15.06.2024

Richards-Ross won gold in the 400m of the 2012 Olympic games in London, but she has revealed why David Rudisha's own dominating display in the 800m was her highlight of the showdown.

American sprint icon Sanya Richards-Ross has warmly recalled David Rudisha’s monumental performance at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, describing it as the defining moment of the event for her.

Rudisha etched his name into Olympic and athletic history by crossing the finish line in the 800m final with a remarkable time of 1:40.91, shaving off a tenth of a second from the world record he had set two years earlier in Rieti. 

Despite advancements in shoe technology and electronic pace systems since then, Rudisha remains the only athlete to have completed the 800m in under one minute and forty-one seconds, a record that endures twelve years later.

Reflecting on the London Games, which witnessed other historic achievements such as Usain Bolt setting an Olympic record in the 100m and the Jamaican relay team setting a world record in the 4x100m relay, Richards-Ross expressed why Rudisha’s race stood out profoundly for her.

“In seeing you break the world record and compete in London at the 2012 Olympic Games, Kelly [Sotherson] and I believe that was the highlight of the games,” Richards-Ross recounted during a discussion with Rudisha on World Athletics.

She emphasized that Rudisha’s achievement transcended mere record-breaking; it was about the sheer brilliance of his execution.

 “It was not just how you did it, it was the way you did it. I think you came through in 49.28, which was faster than what I ran to win the 400 for women. I was like, ‘How does he do this? How are you able to come through the first lap so quickly and finish it off so strong?’” Richards-Ross marveled.

In response, Rudisha, known for his calm demeanor, provided insights into his mindset and preparation leading up to that historic race. 

“When I was running in the junior races, my coach used to emphasize that in 2012, we’d be somewhere running in the Olympics, which is what we needed to focus on, which is why going there was special. We prepared well to make it happen,” Rudisha reflected.

“The Olympics is not where you can make mistakes. You have to wait four years to make amends and other athletes may have emerged in within that time, and surprises occur.

“I knew I had a better chance and was at an age where I was still on top. At the beginning of the season, I did two races in New York and Paris, and clocked 1.41. It was not easy, so going to Paris, I knew that if I executed my plan well, I would have achieved my target, which is exactly what happened,” Rudisha explained.

Rudisha’s race remains a watershed moment in Olympic history, blending speed, strategy, and sheer dominance. His performance continues to inspire athletes worldwide and is celebrated as a defining moment of the 2012 Olympics.

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