The memory of David Rudisha’s transcendent 1:40.91 800m world record run at the 2012 Olympics is hard to shake, yet few beyond athletics die-hards will remember the name of the 18-year-old who finished second.
That performance is arguably the main reason the Kenyan is 11/20 favourite to take the laurels in the event at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Furthermore, it’s undoubtedly the sole reason pundits and punters can overlook his patchy form since returning from a lengthy injury at the end of May this year.
Rudisha could only finish seventh on his comeback run in the Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon – the winner, one Nijel Amos, the Batswana whom he beat to Olympic gold in 2012.
Subsequently the fastest 800m runner of all time was able to put in a far more reassuring run in Glasgow on July 12, when he equalled the fastest time this year to win in 1:43.34.
However, less than a week later his Glasgow goldrush hit another snag when, despite running the fastest 800m of his revival to date he was beaten into fifth in Monaco.
Again the victor was Amos, rated 6/5 second-favourite for two-lap Commonwealth Games glory, in a time of 142:25.
While there are those who may suggest the 20-year-old’s tables-turning is entirely due to a fitness advantage over the returning Rudisha, he too missed much of 2013 through injury.
However, Amos came back to the track in late March, some two months earlier than Rudisha and has more racing under his belt as a result.
Some five years the King of Kilgoris’ junior and in easily the better form, the Batswana looks the bet at the prices.
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