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'Overweight' Rudisha racing to be fit for Olympics

Friday December 13 2019

David Rudisha walks out of the Athletics Kenya Conference going at Hotel Sirikwa in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County on December 5, 2019. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |

David Rudisha walks out of the Athletics Kenya Conference at Hotel Sirikwa in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County on December 5, 2019. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

THOMAS MATIKO
By THOMAS MATIKO
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Double Olympic 800 meters champion and world record holder David Rudisha will be seeking to be the first man to claim a third successive gold in the discipline at next year's Tokyo Olympics.

However, Rudisha says that before he can defend his Olympic crown for the third time, he will first have to lose weight.

The once-upon-a-time shredded Rudisha hasn’t been able to properly train for the last two-and-a-half years.

For the entire period Rudisha, who holds the world record with an official time of 1:40.91 in the 800 meters, has been struggling with a recurring leg injury that has hindered his training programme.

As a result, he’s ended up putting on a little bit of weight appearing ''chubby'' as compared to a few years ago.

However, Rudisha, who is now fully healed, has resumed training and, with eight months to go before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic, he is racing against time to shed off some weight in order to be fit.

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“I have fully recovered and already started training. My aim is to defend my Olympic title in Tokyo but I know it won’t be easy. I am working on shedding off some weight then see how my body reacts to the training," Rudisha told a local media station early this week.

The 30-year-old Police Inspector is currently engaging in light training before taking in more rigorous programmes that will determine his level of fitness.

Rudisha, who did not run competitively in 2018 and 2019 seasons, won his first Olympic gold medal in the London 2012 Games, where he also set the world record.

He defended his crown four years later in the 2016 Rio Olympics and now is eyeing the third.

In a separate interview with Reuters, Rudisha noted that he knows his ambition won’t be an easy one especially with the new young crop of athletes.

“Nobody has ever done three Olympics and I know it’s very hard for any athlete to win three Olympic tittles. I know it’s not easy because there are also youngsters who are coming up, they are also very enthusiastic, they pose really tough challenge and they want to win,” he was quoted as saying.

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