Rudisha would beat Bolt - Coe
Sat, 11 Aug 2012 11:51p.m.
Usain Bolt or David Rudisha - who would win a 400 metres showdown between the two greatest track performers at the London Olympics?
Not Bolt, according to British great Seb Coe.
"Rudisha would win. I'd put good money on that," said Coe.
Kenyan Rudisha raised the question of the race everyone would love to see after smashing his own world 800m record with a one minute 40.91 seconds display of power and pace which Coe rated the performance of the whole Olympics.
On the same night, Bolt ran the fourth fastest 200m ever, becoming the first man to ever successfully defend both the 100m and 200m Olympic titles.
"Maybe one time if we can meet in 400 and compete it would be great. It'll be fun just to watch it," said 23-year-old Rudisha, who significantly described Bolt as the "greatest sprinter" after the Jamaican had called himself the greatest athlete ever.
But Coe, who held the 800m world record for 16 years, believes there could be only one winner of a 400m clash between the two superstars.
"Physiologically it's a bigger step for Bolt than Rudisha and you always go for the guy who's not going to be spooked by the distance," Coe said.
Coe has no doubt Rudisha can improve further on his 800m mark and would have little trouble adapting for a one lap race.
"This is a guy who is running 49 and bits for fun, so I can't imagine he wouldn't be significantly under 45 seconds if he trained up for it."
Coe's contemporary and fellow middle distance great Steve Ovett is one who does not want to see a Bolt v Rudisha 400m showdown.
"It reminds me of Jesse Owens racing against a horse after he won his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics in 1936," Ovett said.
"It didn't prove anything about the horse or Owens - it was just a degrading spectacle."
He pointed to the fizzer of a showdown after the 1996 Atlanta Games, between Michael Johnson and Donovan Bailey over 150m in Toronto.
"Johnson pulled up injured with 50m to go and I'm sure he wished he hadn't taken part."
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