TAOUFIK MAKHLOUFI OF ALGERIA WINS 1500M LONDON, OLYMPICS 2012
[Photo caption - Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi reacts as he wins the men's 1500m final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 7, 2012. Reuters - Lucy Nicholson].
Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria won gold in the 1500m, London Olympics. In second place was Leonel Manzano of the US, with Abdalaati Iguider of Morocco, earning the bronze medal.
China’s Xinhua website reported: Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi produced a stunning last 300 meters to be proclaimed Olympic 1500 meter champion.
Reuters reported, “Taoufik Makhloufi ran a scorching last lap to take gold for Algeria in the Olympic 1,500 metres on Tuesday and attributed his victory to “the will of God”, a day after dropping out of an 800m heat with what his team said was a knee injury.”
Finishing in 9th place in the 1500th was NZ’s very own Nick Willis, the athlete who is our New Zealand flag bearer, this London Olympics 2012. Recovering from a knee injury, our Kiwi runner ran six seconds off his personal best in Monaco two weeks ago.
Nick said: “Two and a-half weeks ago I ran the best time of my life finishing much faster than I did today running six seconds slower, so obviously something wasn’t right. I just felt really tired.”
“I feel bad for my coach and my wife, Sierra, and my family who put in so much this year. It would have been even harder for them to watch in the stands,” said the US-based runner who has pledged to carry on through till Rio in 2016. “I shouldn’t be embarrassed because it was an Olympic final,” Willis said. “I gave it everything I got. My legs were shot,” said Willis.
To even make a final at the games is quite remarkable. In NZ, we are proud of Nick as the eldest runner in the race at 29, despite what is seen as being a set back to his 1500m running career. Respected athlete and Kiwi icon, Sir Peter Snell, offered that “the semi-final had perhaps taken the edge of the Kiwi runner’s final race.” Sir John Walker, an esteemed NZ runner, said he was sure “Nick would be very disappointed at the result. A flat race.” Sir John had been hosting a breakfast for 700 people to celebrate Nick’s race.
It was a flat race, that can happen to the best athlete on the day. It’s heartening to know Nick Willis has a strong family support team with him. All good.
Congratulations to Algeria for producing a marvelous 1500 win.
~Posted by Horiwoodblog, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 8.8.12~