Kenyan trials always bring out something new, and faster. The world had better accept that in middle distance the country will produce faster athletes than the opposition.
World Champion David Rudisha stands out as pillar that fringe runners like Timothy Kiptum and Anthony Chemut can look up for inspiration. There was no questioning who will triumph tin the two lap race. The battle was for the second and third finishers. Indeed, from the gun to tape, Rudisha ran strongly to cement his spot in the Kenya team. This erases any doubts about who will fit in the shoes left by retired Olympic champion Wilfred Bungei.
The question though is who among the emerging talent will stand the test of time to replicate what Rudisha has done in the build up to the London Games?
With experienced Boaz Lalang, the World Indoor bronze medallist, and Jackson Kivuva out, it remained to see if any of the minnows in the line-up could afford to punch above their weights.
After the initial 100m, athletes filed in a single lane with Rudisha strides keeping him in front. They did the first lap in 52 seconds.
As Rudisha turned in the 300m bend after the bell, he glanced at the big screen to see where the opponents were. Three metres separated them! It was time to hit the accelerate pedal and show the fans what to expect in London. Ridisha rounded up the 200m bent with ease as he came for the final kick.
There was nobody challenging his superiority and he slowed down as he came to deep for the finish in 1:42.12; a fourth time an athlete has run under the 1:43 time on Kenyan soil. Of course Rudisha holds three of those times.
World Youth bronze medallist Timothy Kiptum proved to be the heir apparent to Rudisha as he came in second, in as many attempts. He was second behind Rudisha on Thursday mini- trials. Kiptum was credited with a time of 1:43.94 while Anthony Chemut was third in 1:43.96. The trio will represent Kenya at the London games.
“It was important to qualify here today. I was not keen on time. I think I will run faster if provoked. But there was no need to push harder with the target being to make the team. Now I go to the training to work out on the plan for the Olympics. It will not be easy in London. But I have to see how fast I can run there,” said Rudisha.