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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya’s Rudisha eyes Shanghai Diamond
League after shaking off injury

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha is relishing his return to competition and hopes to post better results when he launches his season in Shanghai on May 12.

The 29-year-old is not about to call it a day on his bright track career and hopes to start another season with focus on improving his times and winning the coveted IAAF Diamond League trophy at the end of the season in Zurich.

Speaking from Eldoret after returning home from training in Europe, Rudisha said he intends to redeem his career in the IAAF Diamond League and is happy to return to China, aiming to get lucky for the third time after finishing fifth on his Shanghai debut in 2016 and third last year.

“I hold China in high esteem. As a junior I started my running career with victory at the world junior championships back in 2006, though I ended up missing the Olympics due to injury. But I returned to China and won the world championships.

“In the diamond league, this is special because I am coming back from injury and long layoff. I need to win to send out a statement,” he added.

But Rudisha will expect a chocking field on his return to competition with new kid on the bloc and Commonwealth Games champion Wycliffe Kinyamal, Kipyegon Bett and USA based Emmanuel Korir and Michael Saruni all eyeing his throne.

Rudisha is keen to shake off excess weight and return to the form that saw him retain the gold at the Rio Olympics.

“My running weight in Rio de Janeiro was 77kg. Soon I will be there,” he said.

Alongside the Kenyan stars in Shanghai, the Chinese city will also have world indoor champion Christian Coleman making his Diamond League debut when he goes head-to-head with defending champion Su Bingtian in a 100m showdown that’s sure to be one of the highlights of a star-studded evening of world-class athletics.

Also running world champion Justin Gatlin and Canada’s Olympic bronze medallist Andre de Grasse will also be in the mix with British relay world champion Chijindu Ujah.

The women’s 200m line-up is no less impressive, with two-time world champion Dafne Schippers making her Shanghai debut against Jamaica’s double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson.

           

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