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Olympic Gold Medalist David Rudisha Says He Survived Plane Crash in Kenya on Saturday

Doric SamDecember 12, 2022

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: David Lekuta Rudisha of Kenya celebrates after winning gold and setting a new world record of  1:40.91 in the Men's 800m Final on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Two-time Olympic gold medalist David Rudisha said that he is lucky to be alive after surviving a plane crash in his home country of Kenya on Saturday.

According to TMZ Sports, Rudisha detailed the scary experience to the Nation local newspaper. He had been flying with five other people after attending an annual Maasai Olympics event at a wildlife sanctuary in Kimana, Kenya.

Rudisha said the engine malfunctioned "seven or eight minutes into the flight," causing the plane to go down in the Imbirkana area in southern Kaijado County. He added that the pilot was able to navigate the plane until one of its wings hit a tree and caused it to spin before landing in a rocky field.

"It was a scary episode where you hold your heart in your hand as you pray to God," the 800-meter world record holder said. "The pilot did an incredible job to keep the plane afloat and stable for long."

Rudisha and the rest of the passengers managed to escape the crash without any serious injuries. They were all evacuated to Makindu Hospital for treatment. Kenya Masters Athletics chairperson Stephen Ole Marai was later transported to Nairobi West Hospital with a rib injury.

"We thank God we all came out alive with some soft tissue injuries that were treated before all were discharged save for one," Rudisha said.

Rudisha, the 800-meter champion in the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympic Games, has endured a near-death experience before, as his SUV crashed into a bus in a Kenyan village in August 2019. He sustained only minor injuries in the accident.

Rudisha has not officially announced his retirement from running, but he hasn't competed internationally since 2017. Last month, the 33-year-old said he was considering making a transition to coaching.