The name Ferguson Rotich has been the topic in athletics circles since August 1, when the bearer trounced world record holder David Rudisha in the 800m race at Kenya’s trials for the 15th IAAF World Championships.

Rotich was until two years ago wallowing in oblivion and was not even ranked a top athlete. Unlike most Kenyan track stars who graduate to senior ranks having already established their names in junior categories, Rotich announced his presence in 2013 aged 23 when he won the IAAF Grand Prix in Dakar, Senegal with a personal best time of 1:45.40.

A second-place finish in the Kenyan trials that year secured him a place in the World Championships team in which he was disqualified at the semi-final stage for lane infringement.

Two appearances in the Diamond League that year earned him a ranking as well as his personal best time of 1:43. 22. Rotich won his first medal in Bahamas last year when teaming up with Sammy Kirongo, Job Kinyor and Alfred Kipketer, they won gold in the 4x800m race in the inaugural IAAF World Relays.

His constant appearances in Diamond League races has accustomed him to the rigours of competing with world beaters but with Rudisha, Nijel Amos and Souleiman Ayanleh exerting their strength and experience, Rotich has been in the periphery whenever winners are announced.

Having inflicted Rudisha’s first loss at home during the trials last Saturday, Rotich considers the victory as a milestone upon which future success can be built on. He’s set to appear at the world championships beginning August 22, itching to leave a mark in his three-year athletics career.

“It has taken me a lot of hard work to achieve this. With this victory, many will be looking out for me and that makes it even more difficult but I want to focus on training so that when the time comes, I will be equal to the challenge,” said Rotich after the epic victory.

“I believe I can repeat such a feat in Beijing although we are going there as a team. We will first ensure we run as a team then seek individual glory in the final stages of the race but individually, I feel highly motivated by this victory,” he added.

He will team up with Rudisha and youngster Alfred Kipketer at the Beijing’s Birds Nest as Kenya bids to wrestle the world title from Mohamed Amman of Ethiopia.

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