Australian runner Peter Bol has turned in an absolutely gutsy effort to finish fourth in the final of the 800m at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 27-year-old, a former Sudanese refugee who settled in Australia with his family at the age of four, captured the hearts of Aussie sports fans after winning his semi-final.
Bol was among the quickest off the line and ran at the front for the majority of the race.
He led after the first lap, and was only hauled in by the podium finishers over the final 100 metres of the race.
Kenya claimed a one-two finish in the final with Emmanuel Korir and Ferguson Rotich, with Poland's claiming the bronze medal.
— 7Olympics (@7olympics) August 4, 2021
Speaking to Channel 7 after the race, Bol said he was thankful for the massive amount of support he had received after twice breaking the Australian 800m record on his way to the final.
"I put myself in every chance, the only thing I regret is the last 100m tightening up a little bit," he said.
"We came here to win and that's what I did, I tried to win it - but came short.
"But we're in an Olympic final and there's more to come."
Despite the incredibly impressive result, Bol was determined to go one better at the next opportunity.
Though he was disappointed after he was reeled in, the result marked a massive improvement on his showing at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he failed to make it out of the heats.
"I'd be lying if I said I'm pretty happy right now, the goal was to win, so we still have to reflect on that," he said.
"At the same time, 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.
"I'm grateful to Australia, I'm thankful to everyone in Australia. We're human at the end of the day. We inspired the whole nation. That's the goal.”
Fans, far from being disappointed in Bol, were quick to praise his gutsy effort.
He’s totally spent, and then Peter Bol wins the quote of the Olympics from an Australian (shading Kaylee)
“To Australia I’m thankful, and to everyone in Australia because we’re just human at the end of the day. We inspired the whole nation and that’s the goal.”
You fkn legend.
— Adam Peacock (@adampeacock3) August 4, 2021
"The whole of Australia's watching, and I love that." Peter Bol, mate, we love you #legend
— Rashida Yosufzai (@Rashidajourno) August 4, 2021
What an athlete. What a role model. Bloody well done, Peter Bol!!
— Duska Sulicich (@DuskaSulicich) August 4, 2021
— Andrew Wu (@wutube) August 4, 2021
800m is probably the hardest most painful race on the track - that last 100m would have been hell. Peter Bol is a bloody hero for hanging onto 4th like that.
— Max Chandler-Mather (@MChandlerMather) August 4, 2021
Australia should be thankful for you, mate! Well done Peter Bol!!!! https://t.co/N15D43zplf
— Tori Tokalau (@ToriTokalau) August 4, 2021
Bit of a Cathy Freeman in Atlanta vibe about watching Peter Bol tonight. Superb, bold run with an underlying sense that the best is yet to come #Olympics
— Daniel Brettig (@danbrettig) August 4, 2021
Australian stars Hull, Hall through to women's 1500m final
Jessica Hull and Linden Hall have produced brilliant semi-final runs to ensure that Australia will be the only country with two representatives in the Olympic women's 1500m final in Tokyo.
Hull, 24, was the first to make her mark on Wednesday evening, finishing fourth in the opening semi in a slick three minutes 58.81 seconds, breaking Hall's national record in the process.
"My last 100 wasn't pretty but I put myself in it for 1400 metres and I came away with the big Q (automatic qualifier) and I'm so stoked to be going through to the final," the US-based Hull told the Seven Network.
Not to be outdone, her great domestic rival Hall ran bravely from the front in the second semi before crossing the line third in 4:01.37.
"I probably didn't plan on taking the lead quite as early as I did but you've got to just adapt on the fly and it worked out," said the 30-year-old Hall, who just missed out on a spot in the 1500m final five years ago on her Olympic debut in Rio.
"I was just trying to stay in that top five. My motto was 'top five and stay alive'.
"I pulled that off so I'm pretty happy."
Hull and Hall will be joined in the final by Dutch superstar Sifan Hassan, who is chasing an unprecedented 1500-5000-10,000m treble in Tokyo.
Hassan won the second semi in 4:00.23, but Kenyan Faith Kipyegon was fastest overall in 3:56.80.
The only other Australian women to have qualified for an Olympic 1500m final were Jenny Orr in 1972 and Marg Crowley in 1996.
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