David Rudisha will not defend 800m title at Tokyo Olympics, agent reportedly says

Double Olympic champion David Rudisha will not race for a third straight 800m gold medal in Tokyo, his agent Michel Boeting said according to reports.

By Olympics
Picture by 2016 Getty Images

London 2012 and Rio 2016 800m gold medallist David Rudisha is out of the running for a third consecutive Olympic title this summer according to his agent.

The Kenyan national hero has not raced competitively in four years after he struggled to recover fully and rediscover his form after surgery on an ankle fracture.

His agent Michel Boeting confirmed to LetsRun.com that Rudisha's aim to become the first man to win three Olympic 800m titles was a no-go as the middle-distance runner simply isn't fit enough to reach that goal.

Boeting also made it clear that this is not a retirement announcement saying: "He is contemplating his future. That is for him to decide."

Rudisha hasn't raced since 4 July, 2017 and since then setbacks have included a quad muscle strain, back problems, a major car crash, surgery on that broken ankle, and personal issues including his father's death and the breakdown of his marriage.

In October 2019 the 800m world record holder was determined to make a comeback telling Olympics.com, “I will be back! I want to live up to my name,” but this latest statement has put an end to that return bid.

David Rudisha London 2012 World Record

Rudisha revolutionised the way the 800m is run changing it from a careful, tactical battle into a thrilling all-out sprint.

At London 2012 he shattered his own world record going 1:40.91, the president of the organising committee Seb Coe calling it "the performance of the Games".

At Rio 2016 he successfully defended his title, becoming the first man to do it since New Zealand's Peter Snell in 1964.

Donovan Brazier eyes first 800m title

In the absence of the reigning Olympic champ, the reigning world champ Donavan Brazier will be favourite in many eyes to win his maiden Olympic title at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer.

Brazier won the world championships in Doha and is aiming to become the first U.S. runner to win the 800m at an Olympics since Dave Wottle did it at Munich 1972.

“I think the target’s on my back just because I won 2019, but it’s definitely not as big of a target as [Rudisha] had on his back post-2012,” Brazier said in February 2020.

“I’m not thinking that I’m like this David Rudisha takeover, because I’m not really damn near close to his times, but I think, for now, I’ve got that small target on my back. I guess I’m just trying to make it as big as possible.”

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