David Rudisha solidified himself as one of the great middle-distance runners in history on Monday evening in Rio. The Kenyan ran 1:42.15 to win the men’s 800m final to defend his Olympic title from four years ago.
Kenya’s Alfred Kipketer took the race out at a ridiculous pace going through the first 400m in 49.23. That’s faster than the 400m split in the 800m world record back in 2012. He would fade to seventh.
*drops mic* pic.twitter.com/EUeYuMylTK
— SPIKES (@spikesmag) August 16, 2016
At the 450m-mark, Rudisha took the lead and never relinquished it as he held on for a half-second win. He’s the first man to repeat as the Olympic 800m champion in 52 years. It’s the fastest time in the world since he ran his record of 1:40.91 in London in 2012.
Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi was second in a new national record of 1:42.61. He is expected to contend for the 1,500m title later these Games and defend his crown from the 2012 Olympics.
American Clayton Murphy ran an incredible race for the bronze medal. He shattered his previous personal best and ran 1:42.93. That time makes him the third fastest American 800m runner of all-time. Murphy ended a 24-year medal drought in the men’s 800m for the United States. Murphy is only 21.
Clayton Murphy is the youngest U.S. man to earn an individual Olympic medal in a track (not field) event since Jeremy Wariner in 2004.
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) August 16, 2016
Results and splits
|600m||David Lekuta RUDISHA||KEN||1:16.04|
|1||2696||David Lekuta RUDISHAKEN||1:42.15||SB|
|5||2695||Ferguson Cheruiyot ROTICHKEN||1:43.55||SB|