Olympic champion and World 800m record-holder David Rudisha romped back from an injury to win the New York Diamond League meet with a world lead of 1 minute and 43.58 seconds on Saturday.
Rudisha limped out of his 600m race at the IAAF World Challenge in Ostrava on May 26 with an injured knee which saw him miss the Birmingham event on June 7.
It was Rudisha’s third 800m race this season after winning at the Sydney Track Classic in 1:45.01 on March 14 and Melbourne Classic in 1:44.94 on March 21 in Australia. The Kenyan holds the World 800m record time of 1:40.91 set at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Rudisha covered the first lap in 50.1 seconds before gliding to his fourth win in New York.
In the absence of World and Commonwealth champion Eunice Sum, the 2007 World champion Janeth Jepkosgei failed to sparkle in women’s 800m.
Jepkosgei, gave it all at the home stretch but could only beat home athlete Chanelle Price to settle second in 1:59.37 as World Junior champion Ajee Wilson won in 1:58.83. Price was third in personal best 1:59.47.
Sum won in Shanghai in 2:00.28 before setting the world lead time with victory in 1:57.82 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene where Wilson pushed the world champion to the limit, almost beating her at the line.
Efforts by Kenya’s Olympic 5,000m bronze medallist Thomas Longosiwa for a second win in New York after winning in Birmingham fell short when home athlete Ben True and Nick Willis from New Zealand beat him.
Longosiwa’s tactics of breaking off early in the last lap proved suicidal as Wills zoomed past him followed by True with less than 70m to go.
The American won in 13:29.48 followed by Willis in 13:29.78 as Eritrean Amsolom Nguse settled third in 13:30.22. Longosiwa came home fourth in 13:30.28.
The 2014 Series winner Ethiopia’s Ayalew Hiwot cashed on the absence of Kenyans to win women’s 3,000m steeplechase.
Virginia Nyambura, who has victories from Doha and Birmingham, and Rome winner Hyvin Kiyeng and World silver medallist Lydia Chepkurui didn’t take part in the race.
Nyambura’s dream for a hat trick at the New York Diamond League was dealt a blow when she was turned back in Amsterdam after her travelling documents were rejected.
Nyambura hit the headlines when she won the opening leg of the 2015 Diamond League in Doha on May 15 in a world lead time of 9:21.51 where she was the pacesetter.
The Kenyan would finish second to All Africa Games champion Hyvin Kiyeng, clocking personal best 9:15.75 in Rome on June 4. Kiyeng won the race with a world lead of 9:15.08.
However, Nyambura struck a double with victory in Birmingham in 9:24.01 on June 7. Nyambura beat Kiyeng to second place in 9:25.20 as compatriot World silver medallist Lydia Chepkurui settled third in 9:26.54.