Bol through to Games 800m final

John Salvado / AAP News


The Athletics Australia star has progressed to the 800m final where he is attempting to become the first Australian man to win the 800m since Peter Bourke at the Brisbane 1982 Commonwealth Games breaking a 40-year drought.


National record holder Peter Bol has made light of a pre-race injury scare to cruise into the men’s 800m final at the Commonwealth Games.

Bol rolled his ankle when stepping on the curb at the training track on Tuesday.

Not that you would have known it, given the way he bossed his opening-round heat at Alexander Stadium less than 24 hours later.

The Australian went to the lead with 250 metres to run and enjoyed the luxury of easing right down in the final straight before crossing the line first in one minute 47.01 seconds.

After clocking the fastest qualifying time, Bol now has a full four days to reset ahead of the final on Sunday, where he will be among the gold-medal favourites.

“It felt good; that’s crazy,” said Bol, who was fourth at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

“I rolled my ankle yesterday and I was limping on the way back and today I’m perfectly fine, so it’s a massive thanks to the medical team at Athletics Australia.

“I wasn’t playing basketball, I promise.

“I just rolled it on the curb at the track. That’s the first time ever.”

After finishing a disappointing seventh in the final at the recent world championships in Eugene, Bol was thrilled to get the tactics just right in Birmingham.

“I always say it’s a strange race, the 800, because it’s so unpredictable,” he said.

“You can have a game plan but it’s out the window by the time you start the race.

“You’ve almost just got to get the automatic (qualifier), cover the moves and just run, just like you do at training.”

Getting the chance to ease up well before the finish line was also a major bonus.

“To be honest that did feel easy and I enjoyed that a lot,” said the 28-year-old.

“It’s awesome to come back from worlds where it was a disappointing final, come back here, be in amazing shape and be able to switch off like that.”

Fellow Australian and 2021 NCAA 800m champion Charlie Hunter was eliminated after finishing fifth in the opening heat in 1:49.94.



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