By Kimathi Kamau
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Athletics Kenya (AK)
have confirmed that Kenyan superstar athlete David Rudisha will
defend his men 800m title at the IAAF World Championships in
The announcement ended intense speculation in
local media that the two-time Olympic and world record holder at
distance would not make the final squad for the global track and
field signature event.
"It is no-brainer.
"He is the world record holder, world champion and big time
performer at big championships.
"He has to be in team," AK Vice-president, Paul Mutwii told
journalists in Nairobi.
The federation is due to announce the final squad for the
Aug. 4-12 event with the men 800m attracting attention since
five athletes were named to the provisional squad with only four
eligible to be entered into the competition.
Rudisha opted out of the Jun. 24 Kenya trials for London 2017
to focus on regaining his shape after an underwhelming season
and initially, his name was missing from the provisional team.
However, he was included in the squad after reports he was
missing from the team circulated on social media drawing a huge
backlash on the AK.
Emmanuel Korir who won the Kenya Trials, world junior
champion Kipyegon Bett and U.S-based Michael Saruni and 2016
IAAF Diamond League winner Ferguson Rotich are the other two-lap
athletes named in the preliminary team.
Rudisha and Rotich had wild cards to the 16th edition of the
global event but the AK boss insisted the federation reserves
the right to decide the final squad.
With the top two across the line assured of automatic entries
as per the rules of the AK Trials, Rotich and Saruni (who
finished third) will be vying for the remaining slot in the team
following Mutwii’s announcement on Rudisha.
Rudisha will be returning to the stadium where he won his
first Olympic gold medal in the blistering 1:40.91 world record
at the London 2012 Games.