David Rudisha – Portraits from the IAAF Awards Weekend 2016
I’m in Monaco this weekend to cover the IAAF World Athletics Awards 2016, the season-capping event organized by track and field’s international governing body to recognize the past year’s best athletes and their achievements.
Two-time Olympic 800m champion and world record holder David Rudisha is one of 16 athletes who has or will meet with the press in the lead-in to Friday’s ceremony. Seven images snapped during the semi-formal get-togethers that took place at the Fairmont Hotel in Monaco follow below.
Also below are a few outtakes from his Q&A session today and a handful of images snapped during his meet and greet at the Fairmont.
On whether any doubts lingered in his mind about successfully defending his Olympic title after suffering two stinging early season defeats:
David Rudisha: It’s always tough when you get beaten. Although those races – the IAAF World Challenge, the Diamond League – they’re different than championship races and championships running. Championships create a lot of pressure. It’s very hectic. You need a lot of mental strength. That’s I think a reason why some of the very good athletes don’t get through to a final.
So since I’m strong and experienced, and I know how to handle the pressure, the rounds, the heats, just running in control to secure a place in the final.
On his relationship with other 800m runners:
We are like colleagues, and mostly, even when meeting in hotels and in competition areas you’ll see us hanging out together. We are very friendly with each other on the circuit.
On the impending retirement after 2017 of triple-triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt:
Usain Bolt is one of the greatest athletes of all time. What he has done for the sport has been really great. We will miss him very much. We also have other young and upcoming athletes who are coming up, who are good prospects. Usain Bolt is someone we won’t see every time. But the future is very unpredictable. We might see another Bolt tomorrow. Or it might take a hundred years.
On his greatest ambitions:
There’s still a lot to do. Usain Bolt has won consecutive triple gold at three consecutive Olympics. At 800 metres, nobody has won three consecutive Olympic titles. So that is a great motivation.
I’m looking forward to 2020. I have a great feeling that if I stay injury-free, have good health and strong training I feel I’m still strong and good to go.
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