World 800m record holder David Rudisha fronted team mates Ferguson Rotich and Alfred Kipketer to the semis of their specialty off the heats this afternoon as the 2016 Olympic Games track and field programme kicked off.
According to a report by the Star, Rudisha was the fastest in heat 3 with 1:45.09 as he started his title defence in style, ahead of South African Rynardt van Rensburg (1:45.67) and Great Britain’s Michael Rimmer (1:45.99) who qualified with slower qualification slots.
The renowned athlete was a spectacle leading all the way to the end, finishing the race with almost a second over his closest challenger.
Rotich finished second in heat 2 in a time of 1:46.00 behind Pole Adam Kszczot (1:45.83) with Andreas Arroyo of Puerto Rico avoiding elimination with 1:46.17.
Immediate former world junior champion Alfred Kipketer was the last of the Kenyan trio to sail through, winning heat four in 1:46.61.
Also according to the paper, Kipketer ran in the front, increasing the pace at the bell to seat tight. He however, had to withstand a late charge by Algerian Yassin Hethat (1:46.81) after 600m.
The smallest of the three Kenyans held on as Yassine faded, with Andreas Bube (1:46.67) of Denmark sneaking in on the inside to beat the Algerian to third place.