Kenya stole the show on Day Four of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing with David Rudisha returning to form to win the 800m in 1:45.84 while his unheralded compatriot, Nicholas Bett, surprisingly captured the 400m hurdles title in 47.79 seconds.
Rudisha, coached by Mallow’s Brother Colm O’Connell, used his customary front-running tactics but ran at a slower more controlled pace than usual. Passing 400m in 54.17 seconds it seemed the Kenyan kingpin was leaving himself wide open to a host of fast finishers, but there was no stopping him in the home straight.
“I was very confident coming here,” said Rudisha who has struggled with a serious knee injury since winning the Olympics in 2012.
“I’ve been working on my speed I think this is really special despite the fact I was coming from a bad injury that almost pushed me out of my career. My coach (Brother Colm) was like ‘go there focus and win and everything else will be forgotten’.”
Poland’s Adam Kszczot got the silver with 1:46.09 while Bosnia’s Amel Tuka won bronze in 1:46.30.
Bett’s win in the hurdles was a huge upset. Despite running in lane 9, the Kenyan ran a strong last 100m to take the gold. Russia’s Denis Kudryavtsev ran 48.05 for silver with Jeffrey Gibson (Bahamas) clocking 48.17 for bronze – both were new national records.
World record holder Genzebe Dibaba finally broke her championship duck in the women’s 1500m running a fast last 800m (1:57) to win in 4:08.09 ahead of Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon in 4:08.96 and Sifan Hassan (Netherlands) third in 4:09.34.
Britain’s Greg Rutherford completed his full set of major championships gold medals adding the World championships to his Commonwealth, European and Olympic golds with a leap of 8.41m.
Australia’s Fabrice Lapierre won silver with 8.24 while China’s Jianan Wang delighted the home crowd with bronze jumping 8.18m.
Cuba’s Denia Caballero denied Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic gold in the women’s discus with a throw of 69.28m. Perkovic was almost two metres adrift with 67.39m.
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