800m World Record Info



                   David Lekuta Rudisha's (KEN) glorious new world record of 1.40.91 in the Men's 800m Final on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on 9 August 2012 (Getty Images)                                                                             David Lekuta Rudisha of Kenya celebrates next to the clock after winning gold and setting a new world record in the Men's 800m Final on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic on 9 August 2012 (Getty Images)                                                                                                                          
 9 AUG 2012 REPORT


In what may go down in history as the finest performance ever at an Olympic Games, David Rudisha broke his own World record in the 800m clocking 1:40.91* tonight before another capacity crowd at Olympic Stadium. 

Running at the head of the field virtually from the outset, the 23-year-old broke his own 1:41.01 record set in Rieti, Italy, on 21 August, 2010 to become the first man to break the event's 1:41 barrier.

"I have waited for this moment for a long time," said a jubilant Rudisha, who ran in similar fashion when winning the World title in Daegu last summer. "To come here and get a World record is unbelievable. I had no doubt about winning. The weather was beautiful – so I decided to go for it."

And go for it he did, in a manner that will go a long way to securing his place as history’s finest 800m runner. 

The lone battle of the race – one that didn’t involve Rudisha’s single-minded solitary combat with the clock – came just after the gun sounded, and went in his favour. Both the Kenyan and his long-time rival Abubaker Kaki like to lead – after a brief skirmish, Rudisha took control of the front and with it complete command of the race.

Winning that initial clash, Rudisha went on a tear never before seen in 800m races, at least those not guided by pace-setters. Starting with a jaw-dropping 23.4 opening 200 metres, Rudisha brought the field through the midway point in 49.28. 

Casting a long shadow, Rudisha entered the backstraight a second time with a two-metre lead, one he extended down the backstretch before crossing the 600-metre point in 1:14.30, 0.29 faster than in his previous record run in Rieti.

Urged on by the 80,000 fans who were sensing a stunning moment in the making, he maintained his lead as he powered off the turn, but midway down the final straight Botswana's Nijel Amos, the World junior champion, did chip away at the gap. But there was no catching Rudisha who punched at still, warm sky when a sub-1:41 appeared on the clock.

One of the first to comment on the magnitude of Rudisha’s achievement and offer congratulations was LOCOG Chairman Sebastian Coe, himself a former 800m World record holder.

"That was simply an unbelievable performance," said Coe, also an IAAF Vice President.

"David Rudisha showed supreme physical and mental confidence to run like that in an Olympic final. Instead of just doing enough to win the race he wanted to do something extraordinary and go for the World Record as well. Rudisha’s run will go down in history as one of the greatest Olympic victories. I feel privileged to have witnessed it in London."

For his part, Rudisha was proud to oblige.

"Lord Coe is a good friend of mine. I came here in February and he took me around the stadium. I wanted to come here and make him proud."

Proud too was his wife Lizzie, a guest this evening courtesy of the IAAF, among the first to congratulate her husband on the track.

His was the first 800m World record set at an Olympic Games since Alberto Juantorena in 1976.

Behind him followed, by far and by any measure, the highest quality 800m finish in history. Amos crossed the line in 1:41.73 to take silver, a World junior record* that took its toll. Shortly after the race he was taken off the track on a stretcher.

"I am OK," said Amos, whose previous best was 1:43.11. "I was just a bit short of breath. I knew if I chased David Rudisha I had a chance."

Timothy Kitum, who at 17 is a year younger than Amos, clocked a 1:42.53 personal best for bronze to complete the second consecutive Olympic 1-3 finish for Kenya. 

"It’s brilliant," said Kitum, who admitted that he was aware of Rudisha’s World record ambitions.

"David told me he would get the World record. He told me he was going to go fast for the line. He advised me not to follow him and to go for silver. That’s why (Mohammed) Aman failed. That was our plan."

Americans Duane Solomon (1:42.82) and Nick Symmonds (1:42.95) dipped under 1:43 for the first time in their careers, finishing fourth and fifth. Aman, who faded to sixth, nonetheless broke the Ethiopian record in 1:43.20.

Kaki clocked 1:43.32 for seventh with Andrew Osagie of Great Britain reaching the line in 1:43.77, also a career best.

Statistically speaking, no other race compares. Every finisher produced a best-ever time for their respective place while eight men ran faster than 1:44 in the same contest for the first time.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF

Rudisha 1:41.01!!!!! One week after he ran 1:41.09 to take down Wilson Kipketer's world record, Rudisha took to the famed Rieti track and set the 8th world record ever on it by running a 1:41.01, coming up just short of the first 1:40 clocking. The first four all set personal bests, including American Nick Symmonds.

David Rudisha 1:41.01 800m World Record

    21-year-old Kenyan David Rudisha broke the world record in the men's 800 by running 1:41.09 at the ISTAF Berlin meeting today. Rudisha's time eclipses Wilson Kipketer's world record of 1:41.11 just two days shy of that record's 13th anniversary, as Kipketer ran that time on August 24, 1997 in Cologne, Germany

The picture says it all - David Rudisha with his World record numbers in Berlin (/ Bongarts)



Kenya's David Rudisha broke the World record* in the 800m clocking 1:41.09 at the ISTAF 2010 - IAAF World Challenge - meeting in Berlin on Sunday afternoon (22).

The 21-year-old showing no signs of nerves or tiredness in the closing stages, as he bettered the previous mark of 1:41.11 which Kenyan-born Wilson Kipketer, who went on to represent Denmark, set 13 years ago also on German soil in Cologne.

Pre-race Rudisha made no secret that he planned to attack the meet best performance of 1:42.98 which Brazil's legendary Joaquim Cruz achieved a quarter of a century ago, on 23 August 1985.

Rudisha – ‘I knew it was my day’

But after putting together a perfect first lap where he sat slightly behind fellow Kenyan pacemaker Sammy Tangui qho passed the bell in 48.68sec, Rudisha let rip with every ounce of energy and speed in his body. The former World junior champion went to the front immediately and powering down the backstraight held a lead of 25m from his floundering rivals with 200m remaining.

Rudisha who came into the race as world leader with a time of 1:41.51, didn't falter around the last bend and hitting the home straight maintained his concentration to erase Kipketer's long standing performance.

Rudisha who suffered a shock elimination at the 2009  World Championships, said: "Last year I had a bad time in Berlin. The weather was not very good and I did not make the final. So I did not want to talk too much about the world record before today's race.”

"But I knew it is my day,” he continued. “I trained very hard, the weather was good. I told the pacemaker to run the first lap under 49 seconds - he did a great job.”

"The last 200m I had to push very hard - but I saw the clock 1:41.09 at the end. "Fantastic, I am very happy to be the fastest 800 metres runner in the world." 
A Kenyan clean sweep saw Boaz Lalang and Abraham Kiplagat claim the other podium positions with times of 1:44.34 and 1:44.49.

Kipketer expected the World record news

Wilson Kipketer who set the previous World mark of 1:41.11 in Cologne, Germany, on 24 August 1997, "wasn't a bit surprised to hear the news," The three-times World champion  is presently in Singapore at the Youth Olympic Games, and commented that, "David has been running well all this year, and even last year, and I thought he could do it one day. In a way it was good to see it broken after so many years."

* pending the usual ratification procedures