Rio 2016: David Rudisha retains Olympic 800m title

By (Follow on Twitter @ athleticsafrica)

Kenya’s David Rudisha stormed to victory in the men’s 800m final, retaining the Olympic title he won at London 2012, on day 4 of Athletics at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

David Rudisha crossed the line in a world-leading 1:42.15 to successfully defended his title. Algeria’s 2012 Olympic 1500m champion Taoufik Mahkloufi claimed the silver medal while Clayton Murphy of the USA took bronze medal.

Starting in lane three, the Kenyan sped away at the sound of the gun and was almost on the shoulder of the man on his outside, France’s Pierre-Ambroise Bosse, within 50 metres.

Bosse gave chase around the final bend and was in the silver medal position until about 60 metres before the line, when he started to fade and he couldn’t resist the chasing figure of Taoufik Makhloufi, who overtook him before taking the silver in an Algerian record of 1:42.61.

David Rudisha of Kenya won his second 800m Olympic title in a row (Photo credit: Getty Images)

David Rudisha of Kenya won his second 800m Olympic title in a row / Photo credit: Getty Images

American Clayton Murphy also chased down the tiring Bosse 20 metres from the line to take the bronze medal in a personal best of 1:42.93 and get the first US Olympic medal over two laps of the track since Johnny Gray also got the bronze in 1992.

Bosse took fourth in a season’s best of 1:43.41 while Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich also came through strongly in the final 200 metres after being well to the rear of the pack on the opening lap, and took fifth in 1:43.55.

“Running 1:42, it’s just fantastic,” said Rudisha after becoming the first man since Peter Snell in 1964 to win back-to-back Olympic 800m titles.

“I had no doubts before. The feeling in my body was good. It is great to win such a big competition, my second gold. It’s so great. I am so excited. It is the greatest moment of my career.”