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'Hope daughter follows in my footsteps'

other Updated: Sep 29, 2012 01:15 IST
Navneet Singh
Navneet Singh
Hindustan Times
London Olympics

En route the gold medal at the London Olympics, world record holder David Rudisha not only shattered his mark in 800m, the Kenyan became the first to break the 1:41 seconds barrier in the two-lap race. He clocked 1:40.91 seconds to etch his name in the annals of track and field history.

For all the recognition and glory, David owes it to his father, Daniel Rudisha, a member of Kenya's silver-winning relay team at the 1968 Olympics. Till the age of 16, David was a fun-loving teenager in Kilgoris, the capital of Tans Mara district in the Rift Valley province. It was then that his father advised him to be focused. "It was a choice between athletics and academics. I opted for running as I wanted to emulate my father's Olympic feat," he recalls.

Thereafter, the world came to know about the talented lanky runner from the Masai tribe in 2008, when he became the world junior champion. Missing the 2008 Beijing Olympics due to injury made him mentally strong. "Instead of brooding, I decided to train hard." Two years later, he broke the 800m record twice.

David plans to build a track and field stadium in his hometown. "I want to give something back to the community," says the brand ambassador of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. And there is an Indian connect to it. An India-born Kenyan businessman is supporting his endeavor.

Asked about his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Charlene, David bursts into laughter. "I hope she follows in her father footsteps!"