Track and Field

Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha will miss Tokyo Games

Two-time Olympic 800-metre champion David Rudisha will not defend his title at the Tokyo Games. Rudisha's agent told The Associated Press on Thursday that Tokyo was "out of the question" for Rudisha because of a persistent hamstring problem.

Hamstring problem will sideline 2-time champ

Rio Games gold medallist David Rudisha of Kenya celebrates on the podium in this 2016 file photo. Rudisha will not get a chance to defend his title in Tokyo due to a hamstring injury. (File/AFP via Getty Images)

Two-time Olympic 800-metre 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.

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."

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