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Olympic champion David confident ahead of Stockholm meeting

by John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Olympic champion David Rudisha is oozing in confidence ahead of his second Diamond League 800-meter race in Stockholm on June 16.

Rudisha, who holds the Olympic and world 800-meter record at 1:40.91, last competed in the two-lap race in Shanghai in May and was a distant fifth. His other performance in the distance was in Melbourne in March.

"I believe my body is back to its best form and I can challenge for medals.

"My training has been better and my body is coming back to its best years," said Rudisha in a telephone interview on Friday.

Critics had written off Rudisha’s prospects of defending his title in Rio Olympics when he finished fifth in Shanghai, but after his performance in Birmingham a week ago, there is every fact their assessment might have been too soon and harsh.

Rudisha said: "A New Diamond League record, world lead, and Africa record over 600 meter time 1:13.10 seconds in Birmingham. Best show for my Road to Rio progression."

In Stockholm, Rudisha will come up against Ethiopia’s world indoor champion Mohammed Aman, Olympic bronze medallist Timothy Kitum, Ferguson Rotich of Kenya, Adam Kszczot of Poland and Bosse Pierre-Ambroise of France.

"It was disappointing in my first competition with the confusion in Shanghai," said Rudisha about his poor run in China.

"It was a mistake and I have to apologize to my fans.

"I felt I should run an 800 meter the following day to prove something was wrong.

"It’s tough when you make such a long journey and everything gets screwed up, but in sport mistakes can happen," he said.

With the injuries that followed his remarkable Olympic win and world record in London 2012 now well behind him, Rudisha is looking forward to a return to his best this season and Stockholm might just be a pointer to what to expect at the Rio Olympics.

           

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