Australian Peter Bol has finished fourth in the men’s 800m after a brave display of front running in the Tokyo Olympics final.
With the pace slow in the early going, Bol went to the front with 450 metres to run on Wednesday night.
But the 27-year-old was unable to hold off the two-pronged Kenyan challenge of Emmanuel Korir (one minute 45.06 seconds) and Ferguson Rotich (1:45.23) in the final straight.
He gave himself every shot!
— 7Olympics (@7olympics) August 4, 2021
The bronze went to Poland’s Patryk Dobek, with Bol hanging tough to finish fourth in 1:45.92.
But Bol’s efforts to capture Australia’s first medal in the Olympic 800m since 1968 captivated the nation.
— Dylan Alcott (@DylanAlcott) August 4, 2021
Bol, 27, was aiming to break a third-straight national record in as many races in the final in Tokyo.
“I think the only thing I regret is the last 100, tightening up a little bit,” Bol told the Seven Network.
“Other than that, I came here to win and that’s what I did – I tried to win it.
“I came up short but it was the Olympic final and there’s more to come.
— Jess Fox OLY (@jessfoxcanoe) August 4, 2021
“I’d be lying if I said I was pretty happy right now.
“The goal was to win so I still have to reflect on that.
“But at the same time I think today I didn’t know if I was going to win but I knew one thing for certain, that the whole of Australia was watching and that carried me on.
“I loved that part about it.”
‘We’re just human at the end of the day..’
Well said brother.
— Craig Foster (@Craig_Foster) August 4, 2021
Bol was just four years old when his family fled war-torn Sudan and headed for Egypt where they spent another six years.
When they finally got the chance for a fresh start in Australia, the family first settled in Townsville before moving to Perth.
Just how impressive is @pbol800?
His fourth is the highest place by an Australian male on the track since Darren Clark’s fourth in the 400m in 1988 – 33 years ago.#TokyoTogether
— AUS Olympic Team (@AUSOlympicTeam) August 4, 2021
“I love my identity and my background,” Bol said in an interview with Centre for Stories in 2020.
“My mum is Sudanese, my dad is South Sudanese. I take a lot of pride in both of those.
“But I’m also as equally thankful to be here.”