Daniel Rudisha, a member of Kenya’s silver medal-winning relay quartet at the 1968 Mexico Olympics and father to 800m world record holder David Rudisha, has died, his family said Thursday.
David said his 73-year-old father, a former teacher who retired to become an athletics coach, succumbed to cardiac arrest in a hospital in Nakuru, northwest of Nairobi, on Wednesday night after a long illness.
“Our beloved father sadly left us last night. He appeared to be recovering well after he was rushed to hospital for kidney failure last week,” the two-time Olympic and world champion told AFP.
Athletics Kenya (AK) said Rudisha would be remembered as a pioneer who helped lay a foundation for the current crop of athletes.
“Rudisha is among the first lot of athletes who represented the country, not for monetary gains but for the love of the game,” it said in a statement.
Fifty years ago, the elder Rudisha ran the anchor leg to earn Kenya’s first Olympic 4 x 400m relay silver medal, behind the world record-breaking United States.
Apart from coaching his son, Rudisha also mentored the careers of two-time world 800m champion Billy Konchellah and his late brother Patrick Konchellah, winner of the 1994 Commonwealth Games 800m in Victoria, Canada, and Stephen Ole Marai, a 1987 world championships 800m finalist.