Kenya: Rudisha to Rotich, Korir - It's All About Tactics, Attacking From the Front

Since Wilfred Bungei won the 800 metres Olympic gold medal at Beijing's "Bird's Nest" Stadium in 2008, the two-lap race has been Kenya's forte.

David Rudisha ran a blistering world record one minute, 40.91 seconds at the London Olympic Games to keep the gold in Kenya in 2012 and, again, retained the title in 2016 at the Rio Olympic Stadium.

On Wednesday, Rudisha won't be chasing a hat-trick but will be on the panel of analysts dissecting the Tokyo race for pay-TV viewers.

There are nine men in the line-up for Wednesday's final at the National Stadium that will be run at 9.05pm Tokyo time (3.05pm Kenyan time).

Botswana's 2012 Olympic silver medalist Nigel Amos was reinstated after taking a bad fall in the semi-finals, bringing the number of finalists to nine instead of the traditional eight.

The field has (country, personal best times and current world rankings indicated): Gabriel Tual (France, 1:44.29, 48th), Amel Tuka (Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1:42.51, 3rd), Patryk Dobek (Poland, 1:43.73, 21st), Emmanuel Korir (Kenya, 1:42.05, 10th), Clayton Murphy (USA, 1:42.93, 11th), Ferguson Rotich (Kenya, 1:42.54, 2nd), Adrian Ben (Spain, 1:44.18, 12th), Peter Bol (Australia, 1:44.11, 27th) and Nijel Amos (Botswana, 1:41.73).

I reached out to Rudisha on Tuesday to run us through the final. His thoughts and advice to Rotich and Korir:

"You need to move with the race. You don't know how it's going to develop and any second, the race can change... somebody might decide to go fast, sometimes the pace might be slow.

"You need to move with the race and always avoid the problem of being blocked.

In the 800m, there no room for mistakes. You have to calculate your race very well and execute it."

"Ferguson is a good runner and very experienced, but he runs a risky race.

Coming from behind is risky, because if there's someone good who knows how to run from the front, it will take a great effort to beat him by coming from behind.

In a final, there's no room for mistakes and they (Rotich and Korir) have to run their race and be very careful and execute perfectly because they are in good form and good shape, no doubt about that."

"The most important thing is how to execute that race perfectly because the 800m is also a mental race... in the final anything can happen.

"In the final, everybody is determined to win. These guys (finalists) are also good because by the time they reach the final, it means they were the best in their heats going into the final.

"Don't underestimate anybody because the race is going to be tough and very close, but these guys (Rotich and Korir) are good and I'm sure we have two medals...

"The medals are within reach, but let them know which medals they want in that final, and how they are going to run.

"Let them also not forget that the 800m at the last three Olympics has been won by Kenyans - Wilfred Bungei in 2008, Rudisha in 2012 and Rudisha in 2016.

Let them know ni mbio ya nyumbani (it is our race), and they must bring it (gold medal) back home."

Rudisha is the world record holder in the 800m (1:40.91), two time Olympic champion (2012, 2016) and also two-time world champion (2011, 2015) and world junior champion (2006).

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