Commonwealth Games 800 metres champion Boaz Lalang, who is also the 2010 World Indoor silver medallist, on Thursday saw his Olympic dream go up in smoke after he made the terrible blunder of taking a late breakfast.
The 23-year-old All Africa Games silver medallist Lalang withdrew from the two-lap race with 200m to go after he experienced stomach complications at the 500m mark.
“I had my breakfast late since I thought the race would come much later,” said Lalang, who has trained with Kenyan-turned-American Bernard Lagat – the 2007 double World champion – in Arizona since 2006.
“I had to rush everything.
“I wish they (Athletics Kenya) had communicated (the change). I’m very disappointed since my dream has been shattered.”
Lalang said he had taken tea, brown bread, nduma (arrow roots) and mandazi (doughnuts) at home at 8.30am in preparation for the race, which was to start at 1.45pm but was abruptly brought forward to 10.30am.
Bigwigs cruise through
Nonetheless, the big wigs – including World 800m champion record holder David Rudisha and Olympic and World 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop – won their respective heats on the Nyayo National Stadium tracks to set up explosive finals in the Olympic Trials at the same venue on Saturday.
Another surprise came in heat two where World Youth champion and Commonwealth Youth silver medallist Leonard Kirwa Kosencha held the tail in his heat after clocking one minute and 47.2 seconds.
Kosencha, the second fastest Kenyan this season, went into the race as the second favourite. In May he ran 1:43.60 – sixth fastest this season – in Rabat where he finished second behind Ethiopian Mohammed Aman.
Happy to dominate
World record holder Rudisha, who boasts the season-fastest 1:41.74, produced his trademark gun-to-tape running style to claim his heat with the best qualifying time, 1:44.0.
With Rudisha far much ahead the battle for second place in this fastest heat of the two-lap contest was intense. But it was World Youth 800m bronze medallist Timothy Kitum who had the last laugh after timing 1:44.3, ahead of Abraham Chirchir (1:45.0).
Rudisha said: “As a professional I always like staying ahead and I am happy to dominate since that is how I train. The race was nice and easy and just for qualification.”
Konsecha’s heat went to Job Kinyor (1:45.6), who chalked up his personal best time of 1:43.76 in Doha.