David Rudisha set a world best in the rarely-run men’s 500m at the Great North CityGames in northern England on Saturday. The Kenyan ran the half-kilometre distance in under one minute clocking 57.69 in Newcastle.
The time is considered a world best rather than a world record because it is not a championship distance recognized by the IAAF and the course is downhill and run on the road. The previous world best was believed to be 59.32. Ireland’s Mark English finished second in 57.91, impressive given Rudisha’s credentials.
Rudisha won the Olympic 800m in Rio last month to defend his title from the 2012 Games in London.
The setup on Saturday was rather unique as the event was held on the roads with the final stretch taking place on a temporary track. Rudisha took over the lead from Martyn Rooney at the 300m mark and never looked back. Athletes had to navigate a steep, albeit small, ramp to go from the roads to the temporary track.
The Kenyan was all smiles after the race thanks to his blistering time.
The CityGames are part of the Great North Run weekend, which boasts the world’s largest half-marathon. Mo Farah, the Olympic champion in the 5,000m and 10,000m, will close out his summer by running the Great North Run on Sunday.