The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are underway and track and field stars are already competing, but some of the record-holders at different events won’t be taking part in the Games. That’s the case of Kenyan David Rudisha, who set the world record at 800m in London 2012. 

Rudisha, 32, is considered as the greatest 800m runner in history. His performance at the London 2012 Olympics was the best of that year. He lowered his world record to 1:40.91, leading from the break in the final, having already run heats and a semi-final. 

Seb Coe, a former 800m world-record holder and London 2012 chairman, said that it was the “performance of the Games”. Rudisha returned to win gold in Rio 2016, becoming the first to repeat gold in the 800m since New Zealand’s Peter Snell in 1964. However, he won’t extend that run in Tokyo. Here, check out why. 

Why isn't David Rudisha competing at Tokyo 2020? 

Rudisha hasn't been competing internationally since 2017 as he has suffered several injuries in his four-year absence. Although he confirmed to the BBC that he wanted to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in March, later his agent confirmed that he wasn’t going to do so. 

“I can’t comment on his future at the moment and whether he will compete in 2022 or not,” Rudisha’s agent wrote in an email published by “He is currently contemplating on what he wants to do next.”

Since Rudisha’s last race (July 4, 2017), he has suffered from a quad muscle strain and back problems. Also, he almost lost his life in a car crash in August, 2019 and then had to undergo surgery for a broken ankle. Without Rudisha competing, American Donavan Brazier, who won the 2019 World title, is favorite to take gold.