Olympic 800-Meter Champion Rudisha Will Miss Tokyo Games

May 21, 2021 Updated: May 21, 2021

GENEVA—Two-time Olympic 800-meter champion David Rudisha will not defend his title at the Tokyo Games.

Rudisha’s agent, Michel Boeting, told The Associated Press on Thursday that Tokyo was “out of the question” for Rudisha because of a persistent hamstring problem.

The Olympics are set to open on July 23 and the 800 heats start July 31.

“He is just contemplating his next step, whether it’s retirement or to continue training,” Boeting said in a telephone interview.

Now 32, Rudisha has not run at the international level since the 2017 season, and the current injury is linked to chronic inflammation of his sitting bone, Boeting said.

david-rudisha
The 800m World Record Holder and two-time Olympic Champion, David Rudisha speaks at a press conference held jointly with the governing body for athletics in Kenya, Athletics Kenya, and the Ministry of Sports and World Athletics Anti-Doping Integrity Unit (AIU) in Nairobi, on Dec. 2, 2019. (Tony Karumba/AFP via Getty Images)

Rudisha set the world record of 1 minute, 40.91 seconds when he won gold at the 2012 London Olympics. No one has since come within a second of that time.

The Kenyan retained his title in Rio de Janeiro, in 1:42.15, and also has two world championship gold medals from 2011 and 2015.

Boeting said it was unclear if Rudisha wanted to target the postponed 2022 track worlds in Eugene, Oregon.

“He is only motivated for the Olympics, so that’s why it’s hard to say he can really be motivated for the world championships,” Boeting said. “If you talk about the Olympics you would see his eyes shine.

“He just needs to think on what is the next step, and he needs to have the freedom to do it.”

By Graham Dunbar