NAIROBI, March 27 (Xinhua) -- World 800m record holder David Rudisha has said that he will exploit the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games as he pushes to return to fitness.
The Tokyo Game, slated from July 24 to August 9, was postponed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to summer 2021 due to the spread of coronavirus.
Rudisha, who has not raced since 2017, owing to several injuries, has just returned to training and was working against the clock to be fit to defend his Olympic 800m title.
The 30-year-old has gained legendary status after winning the Olympic title twice and stringing together over 12 wins unchallenged in the two-lap race, which culminated with him breaking the world record a record three times to the current mark of 1:40.90.
However, with injuries and lack of competition, Kenya would not offer Rudisha a straight wild card to the Games, and a horde of young pretenders to the throne have emerged including Ferguson Rotich, Commonwealth Games champion Wycliffe Kimanyal, Daniel Saruni and African 800m silver medalist Emmanuel Korir.
The 30-year-old Rudisha said earlier that he is not ready yet as he is focused on losing a few kilograms after he gained weight for lack of competition.
"It is no secret his only route to Tokyo is through the trials where he had to finish in the top three, which looked unlikely because the trials were very close. He is not in his best shape or close to his standards. Pushing the Olympics back will benefit him," said coach brother Colm O'Connell.
With the Olympics being pushed to 2021, Rudisha may be the man to watch as he will have enough time to shake off the cobwebs and return to fitness.
"Rudisha injuries have exposed his underbellies. He is not the icon that would be considered for a wildcard in major competitions anymore. But don't rule him out," O'Connell added.
Manager Michel Boeting said if there is one thing that still motivates the world record holder to focus on training is the Olympics, saying "If you want to see his eyes light up, mention Olympics."