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David Rudisha, Olympic 800m champion, OK after plane crash

David Rudisha

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 15: David Lekuta Rudisha of Kenya celebrates with the flag of Kenya after winning the gold medal in the Men’s 800m Final on Day 10 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

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David Rudisha did not suffer significant injury in a plane crash Saturday in his native Kenya, a representative for the two-time Olympic 800m champion and world record holder said.

Rudisha, 33, was among passengers on a small plane that crashed shortly after take-off coming from the Maasai Olympics.

“All was well close to seven or eight minutes into the flight when the engine of the plane suddenly went quiet,” Rudisha said, according to the Daily Nation in Kenya. "[The pilot] saw some clear space where he tried to land the plane, but one of its wings hit a tree as the plane started to spin before landing on the rocky field.”

The Big Life Foundation, which helped create the Maasai Olympics, said in a statement on Saturday that one of the passengers was injured and was being treated at a hospital.

Images of the plane and Rudisha standing next to it were shared on social media.

“Plane got engine problems shortly after take off,” Rudisha’s representative said in an email. “Only light injuries for most. Rudisha complained about back pain only. They weren’t flying so high yet. Could have ended differently. Lucky people on that plane.”

In 2019, Rudisha was treated for minor injuries after a car he was riding in had a tire burst, then collided with a bus.

Rudisha, the 2012 and 2016 Olympic 800m gold medalist, last raced internationally five years ago.

He has not announced a retirement but reportedly said last month that he was considering a transition to coaching.

Rudisha helped with the development of the Maasai Olympics as a means for his Maasai tribesman to prove their bravery and in an effort to spare the killing of lions. In past stagings of the Games, men ages 15 to 22 have competed in a variety of events, including the javelin and 800m, and earn points like a decathlon.

NBC Olympic research contributed to this report.

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