Nairobi, Oct 3 : World 800m record holder David Rudisha has warned his critics that he will be back to write history and become the first athlete to win three Olympic titles in a row at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
The 30-year-old former world champion has not been involved in any competitive race since July 2017 because of a nagging injury, a quad muscle strain and back problems.
But like his last name (Rudisha), which means return in Swahili, The Olympic champion said he will be back to retain his title in Tokyo. "I will be back. I want to live up to my name," Rudisha spoke to the Olympic Channel on Thursday.
"It was like a kind of a nagging injury, every time I try to push myself to a certain level, I start feeling some pain," Rudisha added. "I stopped training completely, that was the advice I was given. I have been out for over a year and a half, since 2018. I had a sitting bone problem."
But the 30-year-old hoped to resume training soon, as he wanted to become the first man to win three consecutive Olympic titles.
Back in 2013, Rudisha sat out more than one year of competition due to a right knee injury after running in New York. However, he overcame the injury and went on to win the 2015 worlds and 2016 Olympic titles, becoming the first repeat Olympic men's 800m champion since New Zealand's Peter Snell in 1964.
"But now I feel like the injury is almost gone. I feel better, ready to come back. I will start getting into training slowly," said Rudisha.
Over nine years ago, Rudisha announced his ability in the two-lap race when he shuttered the world record in one minute and 41.09 seconds at the Berlin meeting. A week later in Italy, he improved the record to 1:41.01 and became the youngest-ever person to win the prestigious IAAF World Athlete of the Year award.
The following season he claimed his first worlds title in Daegu, South Korea, before winning his first Olympic title at London 2012 a year later in a world record of 1:40.91.
He remains the only athlete to have broken the 1:41 barrier in 800m. (UNI-XINHUA)