Kenya’s David Rudisha has fired a warning to his Commonwealth Games rivals as he won the 800m in a blistering time at the IAAF Glasgow Grand Prix on Saturday.
Rudisha recorded the fastest 800m run anywhere in the world this year to claim the US$10,000 first prize at the Diamond League meet at Hampden Park in the Scottish city.
Beset by knee problems last year, Rudisha showed that he is back on top form as he made his first appearance in Britain since breaking the world record en route to winning Olympic gold at London 2012. With less than two weeks to go before the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, he said he is ready to go even faster than the 1 minute, 43.34 second time he recorded at the warm-up event.
“It was really good today. I am happy to have run a world-leading time here. That was what I was expecting to do,” Rudisha said. “I’m very happy ahead of the Commonwealth Games. To come here and run that time is a good experience. I hope to run 1:42 come the Games — that is the target.”
Rudisha’s performance was a rare highlight for the 15,000 fans gathered at Hampden following a disappointing meet marred by the withdrawal of several top names.
Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford was one of the few big stars willing to take the trip, but saw his hopes of a morale-boosting win ended before the action had even got underway as he injured his knee in the warm-up.
Rutherford’s absence cleared the way for Jeff Henderson of the US to claim victory with a leap of 8.21m.
There was little for the home fans to cheer from the performance of Eilish McColgan, despite the Scot putting in her fastest 3,000m steeplechase of the year.
Her time of 9:44.69 was only good enough for 12th place, as she finished almost 35 seconds behind Ethiopian winner Hiwot Ayalew.
“If two months ago someone said to me, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll get down to running 9:44 and feel good doing it,’ I’d have taken it, but to be just outside that qualifying mark? I couldn’t be any more gutted,” McColgan said.
Much was hoped for in the women’s 800m as Scottish hopefuls Lynsey Sharp and Laura Muir went head to head, but it was England’s Jessica Judd who finished third behind the US’ Ajee Wilson, as Sharp and Muir had to settle for sixth and ninth place respectively.
Britain’s world and Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock lost by just one-hundredth of a second in the men’s T44 100m as world record-holder Richard Browne of the US triumphed with a season’s best time of 10.96 seconds.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye — the fastest woman in the world this year — gave another impressive demonstration of her capabilities as she held off double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica to win the women’s 100m race in 11.01 seconds.
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