LONDON (AP) Nijel Amos ran down David Rudisha to beat the Olympic champion by a tenth of a second in the 800 meters at the London Diamond League meet at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
Rudisha led into the home straight but Amos, of Botswana, overtook him with 20 meters remaining to clock 1:44:57.
When Rudisha claimed Olympic glory three years ago with a time of 1.40.91, Amos took the silver medal, but pushed himself so hard that he was carried away from the track on a stretcher.
Article continues below ...
Since then, Amos has beaten the Kenyan in six out of seven races.
”All I wanted was the win, and I got it, so I’m happy,” Amos said. ”I was confident and, with my speed, I knew with the last 100 I could take it.”
The crowd saw Rudisha run a different race to that of three years ago.
He typically leads the pack, but this time held third position in a slower run, moving to first while approaching the final corner before Amos closed him down.
Rudisha underwent knee surgery in 2013 and has endured problems since, including a calf injury and a muscle problem in his right leg. But with the world championships in Beijing a month away, he was encouraged by his display in London.
”I am coming back nicely, and I know in the coming races, I will be there,” Rudisha said. ”I am really encouraged and motivated because I lost by very few meters. I thought we went slow but I wanted to take it more tactical this time round. I am able to run every sort of race. There’s still a few weeks until the world championships, I’m building my mileage, and my speed is OK.”
Two other London Olympic gold medalists, Greg Rutherford of Britain and Valerie Adams of New Zealand, were shaded in the long jump and shot put respectively.
Rutherford jumped 8.18 meters, good enough only for third to Marquis Dendy of the United States, who won his first Diamond League long jump with 8.38.
Rutherford struggled with momentum as his first three jumps were met with red flags, and was furious with his performance.
”I can’t have another scenario where I fail the first three (jumps), that’s not acceptable,” Rutherford said. ”If you don’t get your run up correct … I’m not pleased with that at all. I would have liked to have a win again, so that is what has really hurt me.”
Adams threw 18.59, comfortably second to Michelle Carter of the U.S. with 19.74.
Sanya Richards-Ross, the Olympic 400 champ, finished sixth in the 200, but ran a season’s best of 22.87 seconds, and was ahead of Jessica Ennis-Hill, the Olympic heptathlon champion, who finished eighth with a season-best 23.49.