Kenyan 800m king David Rudisha produced a last-lap kick to defend his Olympic title in style in Rio on Tuesday morning.
also the world champion and world record holder, timed a season's best
of 1min 42.15sec to become the first man in 52 years to defend the 800m
Algeria's reigning Olympic 1500m champion Taoufik Makhloufi
took silver in a national record of 1:42.61, with American Clayton
Murphy edging French hope Pierre-Ambroise Bosse for bronze (1:42.93).
was a rip-roaring start to the race when Rudisha's teammate Alfred
Kipketer shot out to the front, hitting the first 200m in an
eye-watering 23.2 seconds.
Rudisha, deprived of his usual
gun-to-tape approach to racing the two-lap race, sat in second as
Kipketer shot off like a pacemaker.
2014 world U20 champion
Kipketer hit the bell in 49.23sec, Rudisha moving to his shoulder and
eventually into the lead with 300 metres to run.
took Bosse and Makhloufi with him, but as the trio entered the home
stretch of the Olympic Stadium, it was clear there would be only one
Rudisha, who produced the run of the London Games in 2012
to win gold in a world record of 1:40.91, roared through the line to
claim his second Olympic gold, Makhloufi outsprinting Bosse, who eased
up too early to allow Murphy in for an unexpected bronze.