Reigning 800m world champion David Rudisha has broken his silence, promising to be back in action by next year. This, after months of reticence from the athlete led to public speculation on his whereabouts.
The Olympic gold medallist has attributed his absence on the track to injuries amid off-track speculations that have taken a toll on his form and athletics action.
The last recorded track participation by Rudisha dates back to last year at Usain Bolt’s farewell party in Kingston, Jamaica. Since then, he has stayed away from the track and away from the public eye.
“I have seen Kenyans question my whereabouts and many have expressed their desire to see me back on the track. However, my injury has sidelined me for a while but I am doing my best in training to get back on track by next year,” Rudisha said.
His long absence from local and international athletics circuits had raised fears that his career, stretching over a decade, had come to an end. Rudisha, however, says that at his age, he had to be careful on how he handled any injuries and he had to take the precautions from his medics that he should take it easy in training.
“As we grow older, we are prone to these injuries and any athlete has to be careful so they don’t aggravate the situation. I have followed the advice of my doctor to stay out until the end of the season before resuming training. However, returning on the track is a bonus as I have achieved everything I wanted to in the distance,” Rudisha said.
Early in the year, Rudisha’s manager Michel Boeting had said that the double Olympic champion would be back on his feet in time to participate in the August Africa Athletics Championship in Asaba.
He also confirmed that Rudisha’s injury to his upper hamstring muscle stems from 2016, when he won Olympic gold in Rio but it went undiagnosed for a long time and because he was constantly training, it did not have time to heal properly.
His coach Irishman Colm O’Connell, who was celebrating his 70th birthday in Iten over the weekend in the company of Rudisha reiterates his athlete’s word saying that they have to be careful on how soon Rudisha can go back to full training.
“Rudisha has achieved practically all he can in sports so now he has to be more careful not to pick more injuries and setbacks. Now we have to see what level he can get back to, before we can resume full 800m training. His body has to be in good condition too before we can decide on his future,” said O’Connell who has been with Rudisha since his running days in primary school before joining his training academy at St Patricks School in Iten.
The two were speaking in Iten town during a ceremony organised by Elgeyo Marakwet County to feat the legendary coach O’Connell by naming a street leading to the famous St Patrick High School after him.