The build-up to the London Olympics is well underway. On June 9th the reigning 800-meter world record holder David Rudisha of Kenya will make his U.S. debut at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York City, the sixth stop on the 2012 Samsung Diamond League tour. During a media teleconference this morning, Rudisha spoke about his dual goals in 2012 of winning the London Olympics and attempting to break his own world record of 1:41.01, set in Rieti, Italy in 2010.
“To run 1:40 is possible,” said the reigning World Champion. “I am planning still to do that because I think I can still go under 1:41, but it’s tough. Any world record is very hard to break it, even if it is your own world record. You need to do some good planning also on how to do it. I am looking forward to that but my plan is the world record will be after the Olympics. I’m keeping my focus, my main concentration to the Olympics, which is the only main title I’m still lacking in my career. I don’t want to take any time or do anything else before I finish that task.”
Interesting how the idea of winning the Olympic title and running a world record have long since been separated into two distinct categories, as if the two were different disciplines altogether. And in many ways they are. But has something been lost in the process? Has the long-time emphasis on running world record times with pacers become so prevalent that the focus on competition between and among carbon-based life forms been diminished along the way? And since that change in focus, has the sport lost some of its appeal to a broader audience when racing was the thing, and the world record was merely the cherry atop the cake of victory? (more…)