How David Rudisha found true love on track track despite coming from marginalised community

How David Rudisha found true love on track track despite coming from marginalised community

Abigael Wafula 18:46 - 10.06.2024

David Rudisha has explained how he managed to be a successful track runner despite coming from a community that was not known to produce great track and field athletes.

Coming from the Maasai community, many would have doubted the abilities of world 800m record holder David Rudisha.

However, the two-time Olympic gold medalist defied all these odds to become one of the greatest 800m runners the world has ever witnessed.

He managed to set a world record time of 1:40.91, set at the 2012 London Games, that still stands to date. He also won two Olympic and world titles over the two-lap race.

Speaking to World Athletics, the now-retired athlete cadmitted that coming from a marginalized community did not stop him from achieving his dream.

He also reve.aled how his father Daniel Rudisha, a former Olympian himself, inspired him to want to make it big on his own.

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“Growing up in Kenya is one of the special things because Kenya loves sports. However, the area where I come from is a marginalized community where we don’t have many athletes coming from there.

“But I was really inspired by my father who was an Olympic silver medallist during the 1968 Mexico Olympics in the 4x400m relay. As I was growing up, that really motivated me to believe I have the genes and I worked hard to become a champion like him,” Rudisha said.

He added that growing up, he never took athletics seriously and would always lose races, with his friends making fun of him since his father was a distinguished athlete.

The two-time African champion revealed that reality donned on him during a time where he lost a race, running in the anchor leg of a 4x400m relay team in school and he beat himself up about it.

He revealed that it was during that time that he decided to pull up his socks and venture into training, which saw him make a marked improvement.

“Where I was brought up, we were doing athletics stuff in school but we weren’t taking it seriously. When I was about 15, I started getting pressure from my friends and agemates and whenever we would go for a competition I could not win.

“They would compare me to my father and question why they could beat me. I also let my team down in the 4x400m while in school and I felt bad. That’s when I started training,” Rudisha added.