Peter Bol breaking records on his way to Olympic 800m final

Australia's Peter Bol signals his delight after winning the 800m semi-final on Sunday night.

Australia's Peter Bol signals his delight after winning the 800m semi-final on Sunday night. Photo: Getty

Peter Bol has bettered the Australian 800m record for the second time in as many days to rocket into medal contention at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Sudanese-born Bol won his semi-final in one minute 44.11 seconds on Sunday night, stripping two hundredths of a second off the mark of 1:44.13 he set in the opening round.

He will be the first Australian man to contest an Olympic 800m final since Ralph Doubell won the gold medal in Mexico City in 1968.

And if Bol can replicate that performance in Wednesday’s decider, he is every chance of claiming a spot on the podium.

“I went to Europe for three weeks and raced two races. They weren’t the best in terms of positions, but they were the best for preparation,” said Bol.

“When I went to Gateshead and came third I said to (manager James Templeton and coach Justin Rinaldi) that I think we can win a medal.

“I didn’t want to get too excited, I had to get to the final first.

“But we’re here making history, two Australian records in a row and I look forward to the final.”

Bol was the second fastest overall qualifier behind Kenyan Ferguson Rotich (1:44.04).

Fellow Australians Charlie Hunter and Jeff Riseley were eliminated in the semis.

Commonwealth champion Brandon Starc played a key role in an epic men’s high jump final.

Starc finished fifth with 2.35m but only after having a couple of unsuccessful cracks at what would have been a new Australian record of 2.39m.

Olympic rookie Liz Clay blamed a series of false starts for narrowly missing a spot in the 100m hurdles final, despite stripping 0.01sec off her PB with a time of 12.71.

“I’m gutted,” she said.

“I would have been in that final if it wasn’t for all those false starts.

“I still think I held my own really well, but I know I’m good enough to be in the final.”


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