A right coach can do half the job of an athlete, says Rudisha
New Delhi, Basking in the aftermath of his scintillating 800m run at the London Olympics that shocked the athletics world and set a new world record, David Rudisha is a much sought after personality the world over. However, the genial 23-year-old star said he opted to come to the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon because he sincerely believed that his visit here could inspire youngsters to strive hard for glory.
Speaking to media persons at the ADHM media center at the J N Stadium, Rudisha said he was impressed by the wonderful stadium and its facilities and so no reason why Indians could not emerge on the biggest stage, considering that athletes from much poorer African and other countries have managed to do so.
“It’s mass-participation high profile events like this that help generate interest in sport and one just cannot say when a real talent will be found,” said Rudisha.
He had words of advice for Indian athletics and said, “it’s not impossible for Indians to do well in world athletics. They just need the right facilities and a good coach. A right coach can do half the job of an athlete.” While speaking on the prospects of our Indian elite track and road athletes, David stressed that they should work hard to try and improve their pace on the track.
Conversation veered to his world record run at the Olympics and Rudisha said that was the most wonderful moment of his entire life. “I went to London to just win the gold medal. I was a world record holder, set at the 2011 World IAAF Championships, and only the Olympic medal was missing. I told my manager James during the warm-ups that if I finish first 400m in 49 secs, I can push in the last 400 to finish the race in 1:41mins,” Rudisha stated and added, “But I didn’t know whether I can set the world record.”
Rudisha belongs to a country that has produced many great athletes, but he still received a huge welcome at Nairobi airport after winning the 2011 IAAF World Championships. A slow possession of 50 cattle escorted the new star in Nairobi. Rudisha was overwhelmed with this love and respect from his countrymen.
“I’m from the Masai community, which hasn’t produced enough international level athletes. Most of the athletes come from high altitude. So the welcome was very special for me,” said Rudisha. “In our community, 22-year-old men are considered as warriors. So they say that I kill a lion by breaking the world record,” Rushida added.
Like Usain Bolt, Rushida is also fond of cricket. He believes that the game is popular and infrastructural boost will improve the performance of their cricket team. About today’s ICC World T20 match between India and Australia, he predicted: “India will win. I am big fan of Indian team. They will surely beat Australia.”
Kavita, Sudha lead strong Indian women’s field
New Delhi, The Indian elite women also expressed their readiness to excel in the Airtel Delhi Half marathon on Sunday, also hoping to take home the course record bonus of Rs 1 Lakh announced by promoters Procam International.
2010 Asian gold medallist Sudha Singh, defending champion Lalita Babar, World 10K Bangalore 2012 winner Monika Athare, ADHM 2011 runner-up Kiran Tiwari and Mumbai Marathon 2012 winner Priyanka Singh Patel were present at the media Meet & Greet session.
2012 London Olympic qualifier Sudha, who had been to Kenya for training, felt she would stand a chance this time to give some of the Kenyans a tough fight. “We and the Kenyans trained together and worked hard, following the same routine. Here in Delhi, we have the home advantage and we can give tough competition to the Kenyans,” she stated.
She added that they could hold on to the pace of the Kenyans in the initial stages and the challenge for them would be to hold on in the later stages.
Among the Indian women, course record holder Kavita Raut is expected to be among the front runners and will have for competition her city mate Monica Athare, the talented teenager who is making waves in the distance running circuit.
According to Sunita Godara, the coordinator for Indian elites, this year’s Indian field is among the strongest, with 73 men, having clocked below 1hr 10 mins, and 33 women, clocking below 1hr 30mins.