NEWS ARCHIVES 2005 - 2011
Kenyan Rudisha smashes Kipketer's 800m World Record; Semenya sub-2mins at the ISTAF in Berlin
The African champion, David Lekuta Rudisha of Kenya today set a new 800 metres World Record with a stunning time of 1 minute and 41.09 seconds at the 69th International Stadium Festival (ISTAF) meeting inside the Olympiastadion in Berlin.
The 21-year-old former junior world champion erased the 13-year-old record (1:41.11) held by Kenyan-born Wilson Kipketer, now of Denmark, by only two hundredths of a second.
Rudisha was led through the first lap by pacemaker Sammy Tangui on schedule in 48.65 seconds and then maintained his pace in the final 400m to break the record.
Kenyans Boaz Lalang (second in 1:44,34) and Abraham Kiplagat (third in 1:44,49) complete the sweep in the German capital for the East African nation.
Rudisha, who recently set an African record of 1:41.51 in Belgium last month, said after the race: "Last year I had a bad time in Berlin. The weather was not very good, and I did not make it into the final.
"So I did not want to talk too much about the world record before the race. But today I knew it is my day. I trained very hard, the weather was good. I told the pacemaker to run the first lap under 49 seconds. He did a great job.
"The last 200 metres I had to push very hard. But I saw the clock. 1:41,09 at the end, fantastic. I am very happy to be the fastest 800 metres runner in the world. The crowd was fantastic."
Meanwhile, Caster Semenya made a winning return to the stadium where she took gold in the 800m at the World Championships in 2009 with her first performance under two minutes this year.
The South African teenager, who had only ran twice since she was finally cleared to compete again after the furore of her gender test after winning trhe title last year in Berlin, set a season's best time of 1 minute and 59.90 seconds.
Semenya eased past Kenyan Cherono Koech on the home straight with the Kenyan settling for second with a lifetime best clocking of 2:00.40 ahead of Elisa Piccione Cusma of Italy (third in 2:00.44).
"It feels good to be back in Berlin. I did not think about everything that happened after my gold medal, I just concentrated on my race and my time," Semenya said.
"My goal was to run under two minutes and I achieved my goal. When I won the race and came first on the home straight, this brought back memories of the 2009 final to me.
"After my training I was a little bit dissappointed with my competition results this year but now I am happy because I can see the progress. My next competition will be Brussels on the 27th and then I am looking forward to the Commonwealth Games," she added.