World Athletics Championships: Max Burgin draws inspiration from David Rudisha in 800m dream

Max Burgin has set his sights on becoming Britain’s answer to David Rudisha  (Getty Images)
Max Burgin has set his sights on becoming Britain’s answer to David Rudisha (Getty Images)

Max Burgin has set his sights on becoming Britain’s answer to David Rudisha.

The 20-year-old has become known for his front-running style in the 800metres in the mold of the world record holder and London 2012 gold medallist.

And Burgin has become a marked man as the fastest person globally over the distance this season heading into the World Athletics Championships.

“I’d be happy to win even if it meant changing tactics but I think Rudisha proves that it is very viable to win and run these fantastic times from the front,” he said.

It is 10 years since Rudisha shattered the world record for the distance at the London Olympics, leading to a flurry of national and continental records from the trail of runners behind him.

Of that race a decade ago, he said: “If there’s one race to go back to for me and watch, it would be David Rudisha’s world record. That is just the 800m race. It’s everything that I would look to inspiration for running.

“I’m sure someone will break the record one day, that’s the nature of the sport. But you look at the way Rudisha runs – his style and his stride – it just looked so easy for him. Obviously, it wasn’t but you can’t help but marvel at the efficiency of how he did it.”

Burgin’s time of 1:43.52 run this season in Turku, Finland, put him fourth on the all-time national list behind the likes of national record holder Sebastian Coe.

And he has the chance to go one better than Coe and any of his countrymen in history as the first British male to win a world title for the 800m should he be successful in the coming days.

“It would be brilliant really, wouldn’t it?” he said of attaining that feat. “Before races, I tend not to fantasise about winning. Certainly when you’ve got a heat and semi-final to get through first I don’t let myself get too carried away. But obviously it would be fantastic to even medal and become a proper part of the history of the sport.”

Like Coe was, Burgin is coached by his father Ian, who along with his own father pored over the coaching annals of Peter Coe to help shape his own coaching philosophy.

With father and son having achieved a time in the 1:43s, expectation has grown markedly on Burgin, and has led to excitement about being the next potential British star of middle-distance running.

“It’s certainly shown me what I’m capable of doing,” he said. “But I think this world championships being my first world championships, I haven’t put too much expectation in myself.

“I think I have approached that obviously with a sense of I think I can do well. But, at the end of the day, it is my first senior championship so I wouldn’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t go so to plan especially with this season having potentially two more major championships as well.”