Olympic 1500m champion Kiprop to challenge world 800m record holding compatriot in Doha, Qatar.
BY REUBEN OLITA
Monday, 02 May 2011 00:05
THE 2008 1500m Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop has vowed to give his compatriot David Rudisha a run for his money during the Samsung Diamond League campaign which gets underway in Doha, Qatar this Friday.
Kiprop who skipped the final of the 800m during the Athletics Kenya/National Bank weekend meeting in Mumias said he is ready to face Rudisha who is the event’s world record holder and world athlete of the year 2010.
Rudisha opened his campaign in Qatar last year when he won a thrilling duel with Kiprop, recording a sizzling 1:43.0 and later went on to produce one of the finest 800m seasons in history.
He twice broke the 800m world record, first in Berlin in August when he clocked 1:41.09 to wipe out Wilson Kipketer’s 13-year old record. A week later he lowered the record further to 1:41.01.
Kiprop, whose participation in the Mumias meeting caught photo-journalists by surprise, said he only wanted to gauge his speed ahead of the Diamond League which was his priority. “I want to challenge Rudisha in the 800m in Doha. My decision to feature in the heats of the Mumias meeting was meant to confirm whether my speed can challenge the world beater in Doha,” he said.
Meanwhile poor weather spelt doom for athletes hoping to post impressive times in Mumias.
Athletes were forced to contend with muddy conditions with some events taking place under intermittent showers, thus making most of them return slow times that delayed their qualification for the World championships in Daego, South Korea in August.
Athletics Kenya public relations officer, Peter Angwenyi said the unfriendly weather made it impossible for athletes to compete effectively. He said it forced some top runners who had confirmed participation to skip the event.
Angwenyi said the runners have the opportunity to make up for the miserable weekend when they travel to Mombasa for the low altitude meeting on May 13-14 that will feature events ranging from 100m to 800m.
It was only the 1500 Olympic champion, Asbel Kiprop and Uganda’s world junior 800m bronze medallist, Annet Negesa who electrified the two day Mumias meeting by posting impressive times that were however, below the qualifying marks for the world championships.
Kiprop ran the seasons best 800m on Kenyan soil clocking 1:46.5 in Mumias. However, against all expectations he skipped the finals saying he was only trying to build his speed ahead of the Diamond League campaign in Doha..