CHRIS O’Hare believed he had a fighting chance of a medal in the 1,500 metres last night, and for a time on the last lap the 23-year-old from West Linton was right in the thick of the scrap.
After staying out of trouble on the inside for most of the race, O’Hare kicked with 200m left to go fourth and come within touching distance of the leaders. But in the home straight experience told, those ahead of him stayed in front, and two who were trailing overtook him.
The result was sixth place, lower than the America-based athlete deemed acceptable, but still another commendable showing by a man who is improving fast. “Sixth place is sixth place,” O’Hare said after the race, won by James Magut of Kenya ahead of compatriot Ronald Kwemoi and New Zealand’s Nick Willis.
“I’m not going to stand here and tell you I’m well proud of sixth place, because I’m not. I’d only be happy talking to you now if I had a medal.
“The medallists today were proper class acts and I’m not a class act yet, but I’m working on it. I’ve got to be proud of myself, whether I’m happy or not.
“I just went for it and gave it all I had. I knew I had to be brave and give it everything, dig down deep. I didn’t quite have it in the last 50.
“The aim was a medal here. If not, then there’s no point being here if you’re not trying that. I’m happy to have tried.”
The next stop for O’Hare is the European Championships in Zurich, which begin next week. He sees no problem in maintaining his form for that meeting. “Peaking is a load of crap,” he said. “You just keep working hard, and if youre tough enough it’s just a psychological thing.”
Scotland’s 4x400m men’s relay team were within a whisker of the new national record they had set in the heats on Friday in far more clement conditions. England beat the Bahamas at the death, with Trinidad & Tobago third and Jamaica fourth.
“To do that from lane one in those conditions shows how much we wanted it,” Jamie Bowie said after he and his team-mates – Kris Robertson, Grant Plenderleith and Greg Louden – had soaked up the applause from the crowd. “That was probably the longest lap of honour ever for fifth place, but the crowd were so great and we enjoyed it so much. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we wanted to take every second.
“Smashing the national record showed how determined we were. Put us four down on paper and you might not have expected a final place. But to not just make the final but finish fifth showed how much we wanted it.
“Three of us will probably go on to Gold Coast. Kris has plans of retirement – or he did beforehand. We’re just young and that could be something special. Give us four years to prepare and who knows what will happen?”
The men’s javelin was won by Julius Yego of Kenya, with a best throw of 83.87m. Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad & Tobago was second with 82.67, and Hamish Peacock of Australia came third with 81.75.
In the triple jump, gold went to Khotso Mokoena of South Africa with a second-round leap of 17.20m. Tosin Oke of Nigeria was second with 16.84, and Arpinder Singh of India was third with 16.63.