MELBOURNE, Australia, Sporting Alert – Olympic and World Championships 800m champion David Rudisha will headline the IAAF World Challenge track and field meeting in Melbourne, Australia on Saturday, March 5.
NOTE: The meet will be streamed LIVE and FREE online from 5:00 p.m. local time at the Athletics Australia website.
Rudisha, who also owns the world record over the half-lap, will be using the Melbourne IAAF World Challenge event as part of his early season preparations for the summer’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
The Kenyan is set to make his fifth appearance at the meeting after capturing top podium places from 2010-2012 and again in 2015.
Rudisha said he is determined to “duplicate the build-up that worked in 2012” when he not only won the Olympic gold medal in London, but also set the World record of 1:40.91.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to Australia,” said Rudisha on the IAAF website.
“It has played such an important part in my programme over the years and as I prepare for the Olympic Games again I am keen to duplicate the build-up that worked in 2012.”
Following the meeting in Melbourne, the 27-year-old will then head to the Perth Track Classic on 12 March.
“Perth is somewhere that I haven’t competed before and I always look forward to running in a new city.
“I hear that the conditions are normally warm and that the track is fast so I am happy to have the chance to run there.
“Australia has some great 800m runners who are still looking to qualify for Rio. I’m sure we will have a good race and if I can assist in improving the qualifying opportunities for some of the younger runners then I am happy.”
In Melbourne, Rudisha will come up against Australian national record-holder Alex Rowe, in addition to few of the country’s best talents as well in Joshua Ralph and Luke Mathews.
Mathews, who has already posted a time of 1:46.35 this season, is one of the young talents chasing the Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualifying standard of 1:46.00.
Among the other global stars lining up in Melbourne, this weekend are Jamaicans Kaliese Spencer and Christine Day, as well as Kenya’s James Magut and Tom Walsh of New Zealand.
Spencer, the Commonwealth Games champion over the 400m hurdles, will test her speed in the flat event where she will battle with Day, the Commonwealth 400m bronze medallist and IAAF World Championships fourth-placed finisher in the half lap in Beijing, last year.
Australia’s Morgan Mitchell, who has posted a time of 51.81 seconds, the quickest on the IAAF outdoor top list this season, will challenge the Caribbean duo.
Commonwealth 1500m gold medallist Magut will line up in his pet event in Melbourne, while Walsh, the World indoor bronze medallist and Australia’s Damien Birkinhead, the current world-leader outdoor, in the men’s shot put.