Kenyan athletics chiefs have defended world 800m record holder David Rudisha's decision to pull out of next month's Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
The 21-year-old returned home on Wednesday for the first time since breaking the record twice last month.
He ran one minute, 41.09 seconds on 22 August to beat Wilson Kepketer's 1997mark and then 1:41.01 a week later.
"We feel he has done this country proud and he deserves a rest," said Athletics Kenya secretary David Okeyo.
Rudisha will be replaced by Abraham Kiplagat, with Richard Kiplagat and Boaz Lalang the other Kenyan runners for the 800m.
"The Games are being held unusually late in the year when the focus has turned to next year's World Championships in South Korea,"Rudisha told reporters at Nairobi's airport.
"Moreover, I feel tired after a very busy season and I need some rest before resuming training."
Rudisha was met by a large crowd on his arrival and added: "I feel great and happy for my people to accord me such a welcome. It is ecstatic and makes one feel loved and appreciated.
"Now I want to rest and start early preparations for the WorldChampionships and Olympics."
McCain Race Walking Challenge
England’s Commonwealth Games race walking representatives will be looking to put their final touches to their preparations, when they toe the line at the McCain UKA Race Walking Challenge Final incorporating the National 10km championships at Warwick University Business Park this weekend.
Following her fine tenth position at theEuropean Championships in Barcelona, Jo Jackson (Andi Drake/Maureen Jackson) has been back in hard training and will be looking to get close to her British 10km record of 43.52 she set at the same venue in March. It will also give her a telling performance marker with Jackson currently ranked number one in the Commonwealth in 2010 over 20km.
Also lining up in the women’s race will be Lisa Kehler(John Anderson) the triple Commonwealth Medallist who has been selected for her fifth Commonwealth Games. Jackson is currently well in the lead in the McCain UKA Race Walking Challenge Standings ahead of Kelher and Leicester Race Walking Club’s Fiona McGorum (Martin Bell).
In the Men’s race, the UK number one over 20km, Alex Wright (Belgrave Harriers/Leeds Met Carnegie: Andi Drake/Ray Hall) willbe looking to better his personal best of 43.31 he set on the fast Coventry circuit in March in the Inter Counties.
He will be up against his England team mates Tom Bosworth (Andi Drake/Peters Selby) and Luke Finch (Martin Bell). They will be challenged by Leeds Met Student and Irishman Brendan Boyce of the host club Coventry Godiva Harriers, who set a personal best of 41.50 when winning the InterCounties 10km on this course in March ahead of Wright and Bosworth.
In the McCain Challenge series standings, Wright currently has a narrow lead over Bosworth and Finch but points in the final carry a tariff of 1.5 so there is everything still to race for.
The action on the course, at the Science Park, Warwick University, Coventry (opposite Coventry Godiva Harriers Track, Warwick University,Kirby Corner Road, Coventry) gets under way with the Women’s Race at 1pm and the Men’s race at 2.15pm.
Libby Clegg - Interview
Having celebrated "two years to go" until the London 2012 Paralympic Games on 29 August, athletes on the UKA World Class Performance Programme (Paralympic) will continue be featured on the UKA website. Four times Paralympian Stephen Miller was the first athlete to beprofiled earlier this summer, followed by former F44 long jump World Record holder Stefanie Reid. Libby Clegg, a Beijing Paralympic Games silver medallist, is the latest athlete to speak to UKA (below).
Beijing Paralympic Games silver medallist Libby Clegg is very accepting of the condition which defines her as a T12 athlete. What’s striking about Clegg, however, is that the condition...