LONDON: Kenyan David Rudisha’s win in the 800 meters in a world record time was the “standout performance” of the London Olympics, Games chairman and former record holder Seb Coe said Friday.
The Games have seen several great performances, including Usain Bolt’s sprint double, as well as many British golden moments in the host country’s best medal haul since 1908.
However, Coe, who won two Olympic 1,500m golds and held the 800 world record between 1981 and 1997, especially praised the Kenyan’s run Thursday.
“I am probably biased and I would say this, but I think ... that will be the standout performance of these Olympic Games,” he told reporters.
Rudisha, who romped to gold in one minute 40.91, had said he had wanted to come to London and make his good friend Coe proud.
“I’m very proud that David ran the way he did, I thought it was an extraordinary piece of racing,” Coe replied when asked if Rudisha had achieved his aim.
“This was in an Olympic final. To basically express such physical and mental confidence that you take an 800m out in an Olympic final from gun to tape [is remarkable].”
Rudisha, the world champion, dazzled the 80,000-strong crowd in the Olympic stadium to beat the mark of 1.41.01 he set two years ago in Italy.
Coe never won an Olympic gold in his favored 800.
He described Rudisha’s run as “simply an unbelievable performance.”
“Instead of just doing enough to win the race he wanted to do something extraordinary,” Coe said.
“I feel privileged to have witnessed it in London.”