World 800m record holder reported to have quit the sport, but coach is said to have labelled the news as ‘nonsense’
On Monday Standard Digital reported that Kenya’s world 800m record holder David Rudisha had announced his retirement from the sport.
“I have done my part and won what I could. I now leave the stage for the other athletes, among them my brother Francis, who is coming up very well,” Rudisha is reported to have told FeverPitch.
Fans took to social media to express their shock at the news, with many asking if it was an early April Fool’s joke as the report was released the day before, on March 31.
“Early April Fools’ or the worst news ever?” tweeted Flotrack. “@rudishadavid announces his retirement from track and field.”
British athlete Ryan McLeod also tweeted, saying: “Looks like 800 man David Rudisha has retired. At age 25 that is very strange…”
The April Fool’s joke idea later appeared to be a likely explanation, with Simon Hart of the Daily Telegraph tweeting: “Just spoken to David Rudisha’s coach, Brother Colm O’Connell. Story about Rudisha quitting athletics is nonsense. Just an April Fool’s joke.”
The Olympic champion did sustain a knee injury before the New York leg of the Diamond League series back in May 2013, but in December had tweeted about how it was good to be back in training.
The 25-year-old is the current Olympic 800m champion, having claimed gold at London 2012 in a world record 1:40.91 in a race fans are not likely to ever forget.
He also won world 800m gold in Daegu in 2011 but he wasn’t able to defend his title in Moscow last August through injury. He won the world junior title for the distance in 2006.