The 800 meters is becoming a long sprint. I would love to see them run in their own lanes for the first 300m, and break for the pole at the 100m starting line. Heck, while you are at it, give them starting blocks, too!
But seriously, David Rudisha ran splits of 49.65 + 51.86 en route to his 1:41.51 on Saturday July 10th in Belgium. His 600m split was 1:14.4! What I liked about the race is Rudisha seemed so relax and in control every step of the way.
I wrote about David Rudisha in the past article How to Run the 800 meters… It Depends
I updated the table below. It looks like he is finding his groove, along with perfect weather conditions, and
good excellent pacemaking by two wascal wabbits. A 2.0-2.5 second differential between the first and second 400m seems to be the right mixture.
Of course, racing for time is a lot different than racing for a victory in a World Championship or Olympic meets.
I predict he will break the world record of 1:41.11 this year, perhaps in Rieti on August 29 this year, 2 days after the final Diamond League meet in Brussels. If he hasn’t broken the record by then, I’ll be sure to hop in my car and drive along the SS4 Salaria and witness a WR for myself. I’ll bring my video camera.
Here is the video on YouTube:
I love the determination in his eyes on the last lap, especially the homestretch. It reminds me of Lindford Christie with those piercing eyes stronger than a laser beam.
Take a look at his long “bounding” strides, similar to Christophe Lemaitre. He also has good shoulder rotation which definitely helps open his stride for a longer stride. If you aren’t familiar with this, see the primer on Arm Action in Sprinting.
Andy Cano says
I have never been impressed by 800 meter/half-mile runners. The reason: except for Alberto Juantorena, 800 meter runners do not have the natural speed to compete in the sprints, and, with few exceptions, usually do not have the endurance to contest the 1500 meter/mile races. So, they are kind of the “odd man out” in that they have some modest amount of speed and some endurance, but nothing spectacular.
Now, getting back to Alberto Juantorena; he ran the fastest measured 100 meter segment of the 400 meter dash on the way to his 1976 Olympic gold medal in Montreal, a 10.11 second segment in between the 200 and 300 meter marks. So, he ran that segment around the curve!
Joe Gonzales says
Gee I think Peter Snell, Jim Ryun and Seb Coe were pretty good 800/1500 meter runners.
Dan Murdock says
Tough crowd, if you are not impressed by a 1:41 800 meter. I’m impressed by Rudisha, but then again it would have taken a near 100% effort during my prime just to be a rabbit and pull him through in sub-50. My definition of fast must be a little more liberal.
Andy, how could you possibly NOT be impressed with 800m runners? Are you serious? The 800m is called the perfect event, you have to have everything, you must train ALL energy systems, they don’t have speed? Think about going through the first 400 in 49.5 and coming back with another fast 400 in almost complete oxygen debt, better yet, go to your local track and run a 400 in 49.5 and see how you feel if you can do that. The 800 specialist must have a great knowledge of pace and know where they are every 100m, hope you change your opinion Andy, 800m runners have my utmost respect.
Cyril Anderson says
Actually, Rudisha is a former 400m sprinter who moved up. Ran 45.50 earlier in the year.
That puts him about #15 in the world best times for 400m this year, and that was a speed check race.
Fact of the matter is that you can’t run 49 seconds and come back for another lap unless you can manage 45-46 over 400m. Which by all measure is a top tier level 400m speed.
In my opinion the 800m is the totally perfect distance. It’s not just about endurance, it’s not just about pure speed. It’s both aerobic and anaerobic.
And it is just the perfect distance to watch. The 100 is all about the start and it’s over in a flash. The 200 is better, but the problem is you can hardly tell who’s leading until they’re halfway. The 400 is even worse – not until the race has been run for 70% can you really tell who is in the lead. On longer distances the first parts are often uneventful – only the last 500 of a 1500 ususally contains the real action.
The 800 has a furious start – fights for position – accelerations all around as they reach the bell already – then all main contenders are moving up, taking or refusing the lead then around the bend it’s all about endurance and on the final straight we see dramatic final dashes – and all of that well within two minutes. Few other sports bring so much drama in such a short a period.