National record holder Peter Bol has ignored a pre-race injury scare to cruise into the men’s 800 meter final at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
- Bol is the fastest qualifier for the final with a time of 1:47.01
- He says he was not troubled by a rolled ankle in the lead-up to his heat
- Bol was seventh at the recent world championships
Bol rolled his ankle when stepping on the curb at the training track on Tuesday.
But the threat of injury did not hamper the Australian in his 800m heat on Wednesday night AEST.
Bol went to the lead with 250 meters to run and enjoyed the luxury of easing right down in the final straight before crossing the line first in one minute and 47.01 seconds.
After clocking the fastest qualifying time, Bol now has a full four days to reset ahead of the final, where he will be among the gold-medal favourites.
“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,” said Bol, who was fourth at the Tokyo Olympics.
“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 his Birmingham heat.
“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,” Bol said.
“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.