Indian athletics lack an inspiration like Tendulkar: Rudisha

Last Updated: Saturday, September 29, 2012 - 00:15

New Delhi: Olympic champion and world record holder, David Rudisha says the success-starved Indian athletics fraternity lacks an inspirational figure, like cricket has in the form of someone like Sachin Tendulkar.

"India have the potential to produce athletes like Kenya and Jamaica but the problem is lack of inspiration and motivation. Like in cricket you have Sachin Tendulkar, young generation looks up to him," Rudisha said.

Besides infrastructure and proper training, the Kenyan said "you need someone whom the Indian athletes can look up to".

"It is not talent or ability that Indian athletes lack. You need strong sporting culture to produce world-class athletes. Why cricket is so famous in this region because you have inspirational figures.

"Likewise in Kenya, youth look up to athletes like us. We have produced so many legends in athletics that we always wanted to be like them."
The London Games 800m world record holder said India athletes needed to change their attitude.

"It`s unfortunate that India have not been able to produce great athletes. They need to change the attitude, see what is the problem, why they are lagging behind. It`s all about training and changing their attitude towards the game because running comes from inside. It`s natural.

"I believe in producing world-class athletes and, apart from good training, good coaching and infrastructure, you need a strong feeling from inside," he said.

Rudisha is in the capital as the Event Ambassador of the Delhi Half Marathon 2012.

Rudisha holds six of the eight fastest and half of the twenty fastest times ever recorded in the 800-metres event.

In one of the most celebrated individual track performances of the London Games, Rudisha broke his own previous world record of 1:41.01 when he reached the 800m finish line in 1:40.91s, thus cementing his legendary status in the athletic world.

Rudisha reckoned that it would be "very difficult" to replicate his London feat.

"It is going to be a very difficult task, I guarantee. For that to happen again, it has to include everybody in the race, five people ran under 1:43 and all of us ran under 1:44. I don`t think something like that is going to happen soon. Nothing has ever happened before like that," he said.

"It was a great race and everybody contributed to that. It was the great performance by me. That was the best moment of my life, going to Olympics for the first time and winning the medal.

"Before embarking on the journey, only one thing was on my mind that I have to win the race. I broke the world record too, that was great," said Rudisha, who was born in Kilgoris, Trans Mara District.

At 23, Rudisha has reached the peak by scaling almost everything -- current Olympic and world record holder in 800 metres as well as current World and Olympic Champion in distance running.

And `King David`, as he is famously known back home, has no intention to slow down.

"It`s not the end. There are still greater things to achieve in the future. In 2010, I broke two world records within a span of eight days. After that, I wanted to become a world champion and then the Olympic champion. Now that I have achieved everything, I am looking forward to the Rio Olympics.

"Many great athletes have two Olympics behind them, they have made world records and broke them. I still have the urge to succeed. I want to become double Olympic champion. I think that is the next thing I should go for, be motivated and win more races in future," he said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, September 29, 2012 - 00:17

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