David Rudisha reasserts rule over rivals in 800m

Greg Rutherford adds long jump gold to Olympic success as Dibaba wins 1,500m

Kenya’s David Rudisha  beats Adam Kszczot of Poland to win gold in the Men’s 800m final at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing. Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images

Kenya’s David Rudisha beats Adam Kszczot of Poland to win gold in the Men’s 800m final at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing. Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images

 

David Rudisha strained every sinew to win gold, Genzebe Dibaba dominated in the way the Kenyan once did and Usain Bolt’s second sprint showdown with Justin Gatlin moved a step closer in Beijing yesterday.

While Rudisha’s 800 metres victory was not a patch on the brilliant run that won him gold in a world record time at the London Olympics, there was a reminder of one of the great nights of that Games when Britain’s Greg Rutherford won long jump gold.

Nicholas Bett showed finishing speed his compatriot Rudisha would have been proud of to win a surprise gold in the 400m hurdles.

Since a serious knee injury in 2013, the once all but unbeatable Rudisha has looked vulnerable and so it was as much with relief as joy that he celebrated the return of the world title he also won in 2011. “I am delighted about this gold medal,” he said after crossing the line in one minute 45.84 seconds.

Disappointments

“It means a lot to me. Especially after all those disappointments I had this year,” said Rudisha, who crossed the line in one minute 45.84 seconds. “During the last month I had a problem with my speed but when I got it back I knew I could win this race.”

Genzebe Dibaba’s family already owns 11 Olympic and world distance gold medals through her sister Tirunesh and cousin Derartu Tulu and the 24-year-old added a first at 1,500m with a stunning display of front-running.

Slowed by the tactics of her rivals over the first 700m, the Ethiopian took the lead with two laps to go and destroyed her rivals with the sort of pace that claimed her the world record in Monaco last month.

Rutherford, who won Olympic gold on ‘Super Saturday’ in London, proved himself a championship performer of the highest class by securing a full set of major titles with a leap of 8.41m, his best of the year.

Illustrious list

Rutherford joined an illustrious list of Britons who have simultaneously held Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth titles in Daley Thompson, Sally Gunnell, Jonathan Edwards and Linford Christie.

Still feeling the effects of that victory over in-form American Gatlin, Bolt began his defence of his 200 metres title by running 20.28 seconds to win his first round heat.

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