GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – Kenya’s David Rudisha fired a warning to his Commonwealth Games rivals as he won the 800 meters in blistering time at the Glasgow Grand Prix on Saturday.
Rudisha recorded the fastest 800 run anywhere in the world this year to claim the $10,000 first prize at the Diamond League meet at Hampden Park.
Beset by knee problems last year, Rudisha showed he is back to his best as he made his first appearance in Britain since breaking the world record on his way to winning Olympic gold at London 2012.
And with less than a fortnight to go before Glasgow 2014, he declared he is ready to go even faster than the 1 minute, 43.34 seconds he recorded at the Games warmup event.
“It was really good today. I am happy to have run a world-leading time here. That was what I was expecting to do,” Rudisha said.
“I pushed on the back straight in the second lap but I didn’t have a lot of power. But if I have a good couple of weeks of training I think I will get there.
“I’m very happy ahead of the Commonwealth Games. To come here and run that time is a good experience. I hope to run 1:42 come the games — that is the target.”
Rudisha’s performance was a rare highlight for the 15,000 fans at Hampden following a disappointing meet marred by the withdrawal of a number of top names.
Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford had been one of the big stars willing to travel north, but saw his hopes of a morale-boosting win ended before the action had even got under way as he injured his knee in the warmup.
Rutherford’s absence cleared the way for Jeff Henderson of the United States to claim victory with a leap of 8.21 meters.
There was little to cheer for the home fans from the performance of Eilish McColgan, despite the Scot putting in her fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase of the year.
Her time of 9:44.69 was only good enough for 12th place as she finished almost 35 seconds behind Ethiopian winner Hiwot Ayalew.
“I’m really disappointed,” McColgan said. “If two months ago someone said to me, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll get down to running 9:44 and feel good doing it’, I’ would have taken it. But to be just outside that qualifying mark? I couldn’t be any more gutted.”
Much was hoped for in the women’s 800 as Scottish hopefuls Lynsey Sharp and Laura Muir went head to head.
But it was England’s Jessica Judd who finished third behind American Ajee Wilson, as Sharp and Muir had to settle for sixth and ninth place, respectively.
Trinidad’s Michelle-Lee Ahye, the fastest woman in the world this year, gave another impressive demonstration of her capabilities as she held off double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica to win the 100 in 11.01.