General News Melbourne, Australia

Rudisha confirms return to Sydney and Melbourne

David Rudisha celebrates winning gold in the men's 800m (Getty Images)David Rudisha celebrates winning gold in the men's 800m (Getty Images) © Copyright

Last year, David Rudisha's campaign to become World champion began in Australia and so the Kenyan superstar is hoping a return visit to Sydney and Melbourne, for the Qantas Australian Athletics Tour, will put him on the path to Olympic glory.


The four fixture Qantas Australian Athletics Tour concludes on 3 March 2012 in Lakeside Stadium, Melbourne with the Qantas Melbourne Track Classic which is the opening meeting of the global 2012 IAAF World Challenge series.


Set to face off with the green and gold’s one lap masters across 400m at the Sydney Track Classic on 18 February before taking to the start line for the 800m at the Qantas Melbourne Track Classic and Nomination Trial, Rudisha is excited about the prospect of heading Down Under.


Rudisha said: "Australia has been good to me for the past two years in my preparation, so I am happy about returning there again. The people are friendly, the meets are good and it works as a very good start to my year."


"This year we of course have the Olympic Games and that is the big focus for all athletes, but I want to run well throughout the year.”


Rudisha opened his 2011 season with a blistering 1:43.88 across 800m at the IAAF Melbourne Track Classic and then backed up with 1:44.80 in Sydney two weeks later.


He was unbeaten in Europe leading into the 2011 IAAF World Championships. In Daegu he won his heat (1:46.29) and semi-final (1:44.20) in resounding fashion before taking home the gold medal in 1:43.91.


A season best and world-leading performance of 1:41.33 closed out his year at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Reiti.


"My personal best in the 400m is still from when I ran in Sydney two years ago, so I'm hoping that I can maybe lower that time. People have asked me if I will run on our 4x400 relay team, at the moment all I can say is that anything is possible but the focus for me is the 800m. Having won the World Championships I of course want to add that Olympic title."


"I hear the Qantas Melbourne Track Classic is also the Olympic trials for the Australian athletes, so perhaps I can help push their top athletes to some quick times."


Rudisha is the current World 800m champion, a two-time African 800m champion and the winner at three Diamond League events across two-laps. He is, also, the World and African 800m record holder.


IAAF World Athlete of the Year Sally Pearson, 2009 World champion Dani Samuels and Commonwealth champion Fabrice Lapierre will lead the Australian charge against international starters including Stephanie Brown-Trafton (USA, discus), Kara Patterson (USA, javelin), Greg Nixon (USA, 400m) and Valerie Adams (NZL, shot put) in Sydney.


Athletics Australia for the IAAF