Kenya’s David Rudisha sets 800 m world record

Sunday, August 22, 2010

BERLIN - Kenya’s David Rudisha posted a world 800-metre record at the ISTAF World Challenge in Berlin Sunday.

The 21-year-old former junior world champion crossed the line in one minute 41.09 seconds, beating the 13-year-old previous best mark set by Wilson Kipketer of Denmark by two hundredths of a second.

Rudisha, whose previous best was 1:41.51, headed a Kenyan sweep of the podium places completed by Boaz Lalang (1:44.34) and Abraham Kiplagat (1:44.49).

South Africa’s Caster Semenya, meanwhile, chalked up a comfortable victory in the women’s 800 metres, running at the same Olympic Stadium in track where she won the world title a year ago.

The 19-year-old posted 1:59.90, breaking the two-minute barrier in her third race since returning to competition in July after being cleared by the international athletics federation IAAF following gender tests.

Semenya now plans to run next week at the Diamond League final in Brussels, and at meets at Rovereto, Italy, Aug 31 and Milan Sep 9 as she attempts to win selection for the South African team for October’s Commonwealth Games in India.

In other highlights, Ethiopia’s Tarike Bekele ran the fastest 3,000 metres of the year in 7:28.99, while Kenyan Silas Kiplagat claimed the 1,500 metres in 3:30.61.

Nesta Carter of Jamaica won the men’s 100 metres in 9.96 seconds, ahead of compatriot Mario Forsythe (10.11) and Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago. Jermaine Gonzales chalked up another Jamaican victory, winning the men’s 400 metres in 44.90.

Although the Berlin meet has lost its elite Diamond League status, a crowd of nearly 50,000 made it the best supported athletics event of the year.

Home fans had plenty to cheer about with four victories on the day and five in all.

Ariane Friedrich clinched the women’s high jump, edging the Italian Antonietta di Martino (both 1.97 metres) and Spain’s Ruth Beitia (1.93), while the men’s discus went to world champion Robert Harting (68.24), the women’s javelin to Christina Obergfoell(67.57) and the men’s long-jump to Christian Reif (8.06). Women’s hammer thrower Betty Heidler (75.35) was a winner Saturday.

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