Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Kenya defend Rudisha withdrawal

David Rudisha
Rudisha broke the 800m record in Berlin and then in Italy

Kenyan athletics chiefs have defended world 800m record holder David Rudisha's decision to pull out of next month's Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

The 21-year-old returned home on Wednesday for the first time since breaking the record twice last month.

He ran one minute, 41.09 seconds on 22 August to beat Wilson Kepketer's 1997 mark and then 1:41.01 a week later.

"We feel he has done this country proud and he deserves a rest," said Athletics Kenya secretary David Okeyo.

Rudisha will be replaced by Abraham Kiplagat, with Richard Kiplagat and Boaz Lalang the other Kenyan runners for the 800m.

"The Games are being held unusually late in the year when the focus has turned to next year's World Championships in South Korea," Rudisha told reporters at Nairobi's airport.


"Moreover, I feel tired after a very busy season and I need some rest before resuming training."

Rudisha was met by a large crowd on his arrival and added: "I feel great and happy for my people to accord me such a welcome. It is ecstatic and makes one feel loved and appreciated.

"Now I want to rest and start early preparations for the World Championships and Olympics."

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